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A Time to Look at Some Myths and Facts About Sleep

There are many common myths about sleep.  As National Sleep Awareness Week approaches, the National Sleep Foundation takes a look at six common myths and the facts that dispel them. 

The National Sleep Foundation’s 16th annual National Sleep Awareness Week campaign begins March 3 and ends March l0, when Daylight Saving Time returns, clocks move forward one hour and too many people choose to lose an hour of sleep!

Even Your Fat Cells Need Sleep, According to New Research

Sleep loss doesn't only affect your brain, but also your fat cells. Sounds strange, doesn't it? Learn more about sleep loss and its affects on fat cells.

Findings Reveal Brain Mechanisms at Work During Sleep

New findings report the important role sleep plays, and the brain mechanisms at work as sleep shapes memory, learning, and behavior.

One in five American adults show signs of chronic sleep deprivation, making the condition a widespread public health problem. Sleeplessness is related to health issues such as obesity, cardiovascular problems, and memory problems.

Researchers Identify a Genetic Factor that Regulates How Long We Sleep

Legend has it that Napoleon never needed more than four hours of sleep at a stretch. Others only feel fully rested after 10 hours between the sheets. Clearly, individuals vary with respect to how much sleep they need. Indeed, sleep duration is influenced by many factors. Apart from seasonal and other variables, age and sex play a role, as does one’s sleep-wake cycle or chronotype, i.e. whether one is a lark (early to bed, early to rise) or the converse, an owl.

 

Brain Molecular Activity Linked to Sleep

Washington State University researchers have discovered the mechanism by which the brain switches from a wakeful to a sleeping state. The finding could clear the way for other discoveries that could improve sleep aids and treatment for strokes and other brain injuries.

Spindle Production – Key to a Good Night's Sleep?

Researchers from Boston's Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital may have found that 'sleep spindles' are the secret ingredient to an uninterrupted night's sleep. Their research has been published in today's issue of Current Biology.

You can't "catch up on sleep"

Getting extra sleep to overcome sleep deprivation may seem like the right thing to do, but a recent Harvard Medical School study found that it's not that easy.

The study highlights the effects of chronic sleep loss on performance and demonstrates that it is nearly impossible to "catch up on sleep" to improve performance.

Blood Pressure Test Might Affect Sleep, Findings

An ambulatory blood pressure monitoring test that is used to measure changes in blood pressure from daytime to nighttime might actually interfere with sleep, affecting the test's findings, according to a study in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Researchers followed 103 patients with kidney disease who were undergoing the test and discovered they had increased activity levels at night because the blood pressure monitor interfered with sleep.

Sound Can Influence Consolidation of Memories

New research conducted at Northwestern University has found that sounds heard during deep sleep can influence the consolidation of memories. According to a story in the university's news center, researchers presented 25 sounds — from a teakettle whistle to a cat's meow — to study participants as they slept and then conducted memory tests on the participants to see if they could match the sounds to a correct object.

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