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News — sleep

2017 Nobel Prize in Medicine sheds “Light on Light”, the science of shut eye

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2017 Nobel Prize in Medicine sheds “Light on Light”, the science of shut eye

It may be a lot less glamorous, or award worthy, than the research on cancer immunotherapy and editing genes, but don’t underestimate the significance of your biological clock (aka circadian rhythm) and its impact on your daily life. Three scientists:  Hall, Rosbash and Young, were recognized in Stockholm this year, for their fundamental research on how humans, animals and plants, sync up their biological clocks with the earth’s revolutions. Your important bodily functions work on a 24-hour cycle, regulated by a gene and a group of proteins that work together to control your daily rhythms. This precise clockwork functions at...

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Is it next to impossible to get yourself out of bed in the morning?

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Is it next to impossible to get yourself out of bed in the morning?

Maybe your circadian rhythms (your body’s natural sleep/awaken cycle) miss match with your daily agenda.  According to sleep specialists, this “phase delay” can happen when the world’s schedule doesn’t flex, to meet your specific needs and who among us doesn’t have that issue? All the modern demands of work, family and social life cause half of the US population to suffer from sleep disorders.  So, chances are, you’re probably functioning on less shuteye than you really need.  What’s a person to do, slog through the day half comatose? Function at a substandard level?  Actually, no, there is hope for the...

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Sleep’s gone Cyber

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Sleep’s gone Cyber

Shut eye is so important that major hospitals and universities are dedicating their time and brightest minds to gain an understanding of its mystery  It was only a matter of time until something as critical as quality sleep became the focus of artificial intelligence.  As a major public health concern, AI sleep technology is looking at a sensor designed to use radio waves to keep track of your sleep phases.  At MIT and Mass General, engineers and computer scientists have pooled their brain power to explore this approach, converting markers like breathing and pulse that characterize sleep stages. Since a...

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Are you getting smarter while you sleep?

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Are you getting smarter while you sleep?

Get a degree from Sleep U.  Far from being an idle pastime, regenerative sleep is necessary and very productive for your brain.  Your head needs time to “organize the filing cabinets”, prioritize important memories and inhibit the insignificant ones, allowing you to focus on what’s valuable.  All this happens when you sleep.  Your brain gets ready for the next day, creating new neural circuitry, to help you learn and recall information. Organizing memories may solidify your emotions, thus freeing up your creativity and decision-making ability. This “cerebral pruning” enhances your waking moments, improving things like academic performance, attention and retention...

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Drifting off to dreamland

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Drifting off to dreamland

More than just a pleasant escape, extensive research ties sleep to longer, healthier lives. REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is the kind that promotes physical and mental well-being as it aids memory and healing processes.  Usually, a good night’s sleep stacks four approximately ninety minutes of progressively deeper sleep cycles, that renew and refresh us, as we awaken the next day, ready to “conquer the world”.  But, lots of things get in the way of getting this deep, restful sleep.  Day to day stresses and strains, demanding jobs, jet lag, financial problems, family issues, set our minds a whirl, making...

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