Articles on Sleep

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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…
Elite tennis players put their bodies through a lot, so what does it take to recover properly? AAP Image/Joe Castro

Djokovic has longer to recover, so should Murray and FedEx bother?

Will an extra day’s rest and recovery give Novak Djokovic an advantage over Federer or Murray in Sunday’s Australian Open final? In case you missed it, Djokovic, the defending Australian Open champion…
Environmental heat disturbs the delicate balance between sleep and body temperature. Steven Mileham

Too hot to sleep? Here’s why

Bushfires are quite appropriately dominating our nation’s concerns during the current Australian heatwave. But for many, the struggle to sleep through soaring temperatures is a personal inferno that dominates…
Bed-sharing seems like a workable option to settle infants and to gain much-needed sleep. But is it worth the risks? DanielJames

Sharing a bed with your baby – realities vs recommendations

Most parents will tell you that as soon as they announced their pregnancy, the advice started rolling in. Much of it might have been sensible and evidence-based, but it’s difficult to sort the myths from…
The majority of people who have obstructive sleep apnoea are unaware they have the disorder. Image from shutterstock.com

Explainer: what is obstructive sleep apnoea?

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a common sleep-related breathing disorder, where the upper airway repeatedly collapses during sleep. During an obstructive breathing event, someone with OSA continues…
Something’s going on behind your eyes … but what is it, and why does it happen? Rubén Chase

Explainer: what is dreaming?

For most of human history, dreaming has been seen as a second “reality” in which altered forms of perception provide insights into ourselves and others, our fears, fantasies and motivations or even the…
President Barack Obama would be well advised to catch some sleep on the plane during his whirlwind tour. EPA/Michael Reyonds

Obama’s all-nighter: fast, furious and foolish

Politicians of all persuasions often claim they need little sleep to lead their nations. Thatcher, Hawke, Abbott, Rudd, Berlusconi and Clinton are all examples of this “on the job 24 hours per day” club…

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