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  • Fruit Fly Studies Essential to Understanding Sleep

    It may be hard to believe that studies that are being done on the way that fruit flies sleep would be helpful to our understanding of why we sleep, or how to improve our sleep, but researchers have been using the diminutive bugs for years with great success. Studies conducted at Washington State University back in 2011 were published in Science magazine and revealed exactly what the switch is within the brain that tells us to go to sleep, as well as how it works, and further studies being conducted at Oxford are going even further in aiding scientists’ understanding of why all animals sleep. Continue reading

  • Placebo Effect’s Limits on Sleep-Related Performance

    There have been a number of studies done on the placebo effect as it relates to people’s perception of how much good quality sleep people believe that they have gotten as compared to their actual quantity and quality of sleep. A placebo effect is described as the positive impact of believing that a medication or treatment that has been received will work, even if the medication or treatment did not actually have an impact at all. Typical examples of a placebo effect are when people are given pills that are actually nothing but sugar but which they are told will alleviate a symptom. Study participants often report that their symptoms are diminished despite the fact that the pills they received had no active ingredients to accomplish the effect. In sleep studies on the placebo effect, patients are given indications that their sleep quality was either better or worse than it actually was, and then they are tested for performance on a number of different tasks.  Continue reading

  • Learning While Sleeping

    Though it has been disproven that humans are able to learn any kind of new information simply by being exposed to audio lessons played while they are asleep, scientists continue to study and experiment to see exactly what we are capable of learning while we are asleep.  One group of researchers has just completed an absolutely fascinating study that indicates that there is plenty that our brain can learn, even while we are not awake.  Continue reading

  • Sleep and the Common Cold

    As it turns out, science has found yet another thing that our mothers were absolutely right about. All those times that mom told us to go to sleep, using the rationale that if we let ourselves get run down we’d catch a cold… that is exactly what researchers at Carnegie Mellon just confirmed in a recent study. Continue reading

  • Sleep Little, Eat a Lot

    A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania’s sleep laboratory, run out of their Unit for Experimental Psychiatry, Division of Sleep and Chronobiology, has confirmed what a lot of us knew in our heart of hearts - that the later we’re staying up and the less sleep we’re getting, the more we are eating. And we’re not eating healthy foods either; we’re making unhealthy choices that are loaded in fat. Continue reading

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