Articles on Sleep

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It’s mid-afternoon but your body clock’s telling you it’s the middle of the night. Ed Yourdon

Explainer: what is jet lag and how can you overcome it?

Long flights across many time zones often leave us feeling fatigued, sleepy, irritable and generally out of sorts. And it’s not just because of poor sleep on the plane and dehydration from the altitude…
Adjusting back to standard time is easy for most of us and can happen in one or two days. jamelah e./Flickr

Spring forward, fall back: how daylight saving affects our sleep

Daylight saving time ends this weekend in most states and territories (barring Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory), meaning we’ll turn our clocks back by one hour on Sunday morning…
The question of why animals risk the vulnerability that comes with not being conscious for hours has led to many theories. billfromesm/Flickr

Feeling sleepy? Maybe your brain’s too full

Sleep is an essential state of the brain but why do animals risk the vulnerability that comes with not being conscious for hours? What happens in the brain during sleep that’s so vital for life? Numerous…
Being tired is linked to eating unhealthy foods that may cause weight gain. Shuttershock

Does a bad night’s sleep make you likely to overeat?

Few people would argue with the idea that sleep is good for us, but not many of us know that a lack of sleep can cause weight gain. The health benefits of sleep are extremely well-documented. It provides…

Snoozing improves waking memory

Sleep helps lock in visual learning, according to new research from Brown University. The study observed the brain activity…
Body clocks readily reset themselves to natural sleep patterns if given the opportunity, the study found. Lazurite

How a week of camping resets the body clock

One week of camping outdoors and eschewing all man-made light is enough to reset a person’s body clock to its natural sleep…
Dark side of the moon: does it hold some power over us? PA/Anthony Devlin

We shouldn’t dismiss the moon’s power to influence

As a teenager I observed a strange phenomenon. On awakening from an unusually vivid dream, I would often find that the moon was full. And as the silvery light prevailed on subsequent nights, my nocturnal…
When daily stressors intensify and prevent good quality sleep, they can set off a downward spiral to poor mental health. Shutterstock

Chill out: disturbed sleep plays havoc with your mood and mind

A poll by Lifeline released earlier this week shows almost two-thirds of Australians reported sleep loss because of stress relating to work or their finances. The findings went largely unremarked, even…
Frequently sleeping six hours or fewer increased the risk of a crash, a study of young drivers showed. http://www.flickr.com/photos/cali4beach

Insufficient sleep boosts crash risk for young people

Insufficient sleep puts young drivers at greater risk of a car crash, a large study by Australian researchers has found…
A few minutes of shut-eye considerably enhances short-term memory and mood. Image from shutterstock.com

Want to boost your memory and mood? Take a nap, but keep it short

We’re told to have power naps to keep us safe on the road and improve our alertness if we’ve had insufficient sleep. They even help our surgeons stay awake during long shifts. But siestas and nana naps…
Each dream has its own brain scan ‘signature’. mondi

An open book: the next chapter of ‘reading’ dreams

You may have read last week that a team of researchers has developed, for the first time, a way to detect the contents of people’s dreams. But what can we glean from this research? During the same week…
Staying awake longer increases opportunity for snacking, even when full, the study found. http://www.flickr.com/photos/remaraphotography/

How sleepless nights can lead to weight gain

People who sleep five hours or less a night are more likely to snack after dinner and gain more weight than those who get…
The dreams of people with PTSD tend to be accompanied by bodily movement. piXo

Acting out the nightmares of post-traumatic stress disorder

You can run a marathon, fly over foreign lands, fight to the death with a two-headed dragon … all while you lie peacefully in your bed. This is the beauty of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, where most…
The researchers did not say insomnia causes heart failure, but found an increased risk of heart failure among insomniacs. http://www.flickr.com/photos/barkbud

Study links insomnia with increased heart failure risk

People with three insomnia symptoms have a three-fold higher risk of heart failure than people with no insomnia, a large…
Good news for those who like a weekend sleep-in: lost sleep can be recovered. Image from shutterstock.com

Explainer: can you pay off your ‘sleep debt’?

Ever have those moments on weekends or public holidays when you wake at your usual time, then realise there’s no pressing need to get up? If you go back for another couple of hours of shut-eye and use…

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