Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

The Science of Sleeplessness

Monday, April 1st, 2013


A survey of the latest in sleep science (and sleep science books) by Elizabeth Kolbert in the New Yorker.  This is from The Slumbering Massesby Matthew J. Wolf-Meyer:

“Americans, like other people around the world, used to sleep in an unconsolidated fashion, that is, in two or more periods throughout the day.” They went to bed not long after the sun went down. Four or five hours later, they woke from their “first sleep” and rattled around—praying, chatting, smoking, or making love. (Benjamin Franklin reportedly liked to spend this time reading naked in a chair.) Eventually, they went back to bed for their “second sleep.”

Parents Need Sleep

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

A Q&A about the sleeplessness that comes with parenting.

Chronic insomnia has been linked to a range of medical problems, from loss of concentration to high blood pressure…But can getting up throughout the night to tend to new baby cause long-term health problems as well?

Study: Get Some Sleep

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

PsychCentral:  Cumulative Sleep Deprivation Harms Brain and Body.

“Instead of going to bed when they are tired, like they should, people watch TV and want to have an active social life,” she says. “People count on catching up on their sleep on the weekends, but it may not be enough.”

Also:  Similar Effects from Chronic and Acute Sleep Deprivation.

Wide Awake

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

An NYT review of Wide Awake: A Memoir of Insomnia, by Patricia Morrisroe.

Morrisroe interviews an anthropologist who says that in many traditional, non-Western cultures people sleep on light mats, not beds, sometimes in groups around a fire. Instead of what the anthropologist calls our “lie down and die” model, people drift in and out of slumber. Sometimes, they get up to sing or dance for a while…

CBT for Insomnia

Friday, July 9th, 2010

CBT for insomnia (CBT-I) quickly outlined in an NYT interview.  Simple and straightforward enough to invite DIY CBT-I–do it yourself:

Self-help books offering CBT-I are also available. Two that I really like are“The Insomnia Answer,” by Paul Glovinsky and Art Spielman, and “Quiet Your Mind and Get to Sleep,” by Colleen E. Carney and Rachel Manber.

Sleep = Energy

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Brain’s energy restored during sleep–not exactly a news flash.  But a study looks at what actually goes on in your head while you’re slumbering:

In the initial stages of sleep, energy levels increase dramatically in brain regions found to be active during waking hours [suggesting] a surge of cellular energy may replenish brain processes needed to function normally while awake.

Insomnia Q&A

Friday, June 25th, 2010

A Q&A about insomnia is underway on the NYT’s Consults blog.  Starter questions:

Does Insomnia Always Have an Underlying ‘Cause’?

Can You Die of Insomnia?


Friday, June 11th, 2010

NYT:  No Sex, Please: You’re Sleeping

Some people sleepwalk; others talk in their sleep. Now a study finds that 1 in 12 patients with sleep disorders reported having had sex while they were asleep.

Yes, there’s a website on the subject: sleepsex.org.

Depression, Weight, and Sleep (3 Articles)

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Another set of three articles–ultrasounds, waistbands, and parenting–related by being a little more interesting than the others coming up in Google Reader right now:

Brain stimulation with ultrasound may enhance cognitive function

Link between depression, abdominal obesity confirmed by new study

First-time parents’ daily sleep duration predicts their relationship satisfaction

Take a Nap

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Sara Mednick, PhD wants you to take a nap.  She wrote a book about it (Take a Nap, Change Your Life). No, you don’t have to stop at 20 minutes:

Research shows longer naps help boost memory and enhance creativity. Slow-wave sleep — napping for approximately 30 to 60 minutes — is good for decision-making skills, such as memorizing vocabulary or recalling directions. Getting rapid eye movement or REM sleep, usually 60 to 90 minutes of napping, plays a key role in making new connections in the brain and solving creative problems.