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Sleep Studies

  • The Learning Process and Sleep

    Though sleep scientists have long ago disproved the notion that we can learn in our sleep, that by no means that the learning process comes to a stop. Though the idea of setting ourselves to listen to a book on audiotape as we sleep will not mean that we have consumed, understood and learned the content, a recent study has shown that simple learning or classification tasks can continue even once we are asleep.

    The study was a project led by Sid Kouider of Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Cambridge. What they found is that simple, automated tasks such as classifying words into different categories can continue even after the subject has fallen asleep. What this means, according to the conclusions published in the journal Current Biology is that there are certain areas of the human brain that will continue to function and behave in the same way regardless of whether we are awake or asleep. This may lead to new understanding of the way that the brain works, as well as new possibilities for enhancing learning. Continue reading

  • College Students Priorities Impacting Sleep

    Though it will come as no surprise to the parents of college students, or anybody who has ever been a college student themselves, a new study has determined that college students are more sleep deprived than the general population. But the extent to which this group makes conscious decisions prioritizing their studies and social activities over sleep may be something of an eye opener.

    The study, which was coauthored by Dr. Adam Knowlden, assistant professor of the University of Alabama department of health science and Dr. Manoj Sharma, a researcher formerly with the health promotion and education program at the University of Cincinnati, will be published in an upcoming issue of Family & Community Health.   The two followed nearly 200 employed undergraduate students from the University of Cincinnati. The students all operated motor vehicles and had no signs of sleep disorders. What they found was that students showed tremendous disregard for the health impacts of sleep deprivation.  Continue reading

  • Couples Sleep Better, But May Need to Adapt

    One of the little-known benefits of marriage is that it’s been scientifically proven that couples have healthier sleep and better quality sleep. Though the reason behind this isn’t clear, sleep experts believe that marriage stabilizes sleep routines and that couples tend to keep each other in line regarding the times that they go to sleep and the times that they wake up. But what about couples that sleep on different schedules? What happens when an early bird marries a night owl, or work schedules are in conflict? Continue reading

  • New Study Strengthens Support for Later School Start Times

    The journal publisher Taylor & Francis has just released the results of a new study that confirms that teenaged behaviors and responses that have traditionally been attributed to bad attitudes are actually caused by sleep deprivation. The report appeared in the journal Learning, Media and Technology, and shows that the continued practice of starting high school schedules at early hours of the morning are in direct conflict with teens’ ability to learn and their need for sleep. As a result, education to this particular group is suffering, and so are their moods. Continue reading

  • Betting on Baseball? Check the Players’ Sleep Schedule

    Baseball season is nearly over and we’re approaching the championship season, so before you place your bets or pick your favorite team, it may be a good idea to find out what time each player hits the sack at night and wakes up in the morning. At least that’s the result of some preliminary research done by scientists at the Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. Their study showed that morning people – also referred to as early birds or ‘larks’ – tend to get their best batting in early in the morning, and as it gets later in the day their abilities tend to wane.

    Though this may seem like an obvious conclusion that did not require extensive research, W. Christopher Winter, medical director of the program and lead author of the study defends his research and points out that it has never been carefully analyzed before. Though a fair amount of research has studied how increasing sleep quantity and quality may improve an athlete’s performance, little has been done that links a player’s genetic tendency towards early morning or late night alertness with their athletic ability. Continue reading

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