June 13, 2011 |
You can't sleep. You've tried counting sheep, drinking warm milk, maybe even taking medications like Benadryl or sleeping pills. Maybe next you should try cooling your brain. According to research presented Monday at Sleep 2011 , the annual meeting of the Associated Profession Sleep Societies, cooling the brain and can reduce the amount of time it takes people with insomnia to fall asleep -- and increase the length of time they stay that way. To achieve "frontal cerebral thermal transfer," as the cooling is called, researchers Dr. Eric Nofzinger and Dr. Daniel Buysse of the Sleep Neuroimaging Research Program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine outfitted 24 people -- 12 with insomnia, and 12 without -- with soft plastic caps. The caps had tubes for circulating water at neutral, moderate or maximum "cooling intensity.
August 10, 2009 |
My 88-year-old husband was prescribed Ambien for insomnia. After the first dose, he fell while getting up to go to the bathroom, gashed his head and had to go to the emergency room for stitches. A year later, I gave him a half-dose (again prescribed), and within minutes, his legs collapsed on him. I had the hardest time getting him into bed. Ambien? Never again! Your experience reminds us that sleeping pills may pose a serious risk for older people who have to get up at night to go to the bathroom.
January 18, 2010
Even a good night's sleep doesn't totally compensate for many weeks of sleep loss. And it's the late-night period when the accumulation of sleep loss may be most apparent. Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital examined the effect of weeks of insufficient sleep on performance. They scheduled nine healthy volunteers to live for three weeks on a schedule consisting of 43-hour periods in which they were awake for 33 of those hours. That equals about 5.6 hours of sleep for every 24 hours.
October 1, 2013 |
For those who struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias, anxieties and other fearful memories, the bedroom may be the next big battleground. Researchers are finding that sleep may allow us not just to escape our cares temporarily, but to defang some of the fearful memories that hobble those with such anxiety disorders. Two studies published in the past week break new ground in the effort to take the fright out of frightening memories, both of them exploring the opportunity afforded by sleep to do so. They proceed from two relatively recent neuroscientific insights about memories: that they change a little every time they are taken out, revisited and returned to storage; and that sleep is a time when old memories and new experiences alike are processed, prepared and filed into the brain's long-term storage vault.
March 14, 1987
I recently journeyed up to the Shrine Auditorium to see American Ballet Theatre's "Sleeeeeeping Beauty," and was amazed that Martin Bernheimer's review had neglected to mention how many Orange County theatergoers had ventured north in order to applaud long before the end of every movement ("Van Hamel Refocuses 'The Sleeping Beauty,' " March 6). As for the hundreds conversing during the overtures, since L.A. audiences are much too sophisticated for such behavior, I presume they came from Bakersfield.
August 20, 2013 |
If you can't quite get that nine-note treble opening to " Fur Elise," just sleep on it. The brain will rehearse, reorganize and nail the sequential motor tasks that help you play piano or type on a keyboard. How that consolidation of memory happens has remained largely a mystery, despite telling evidence that the brain's motor cortex appears to be quite busy during sleep. Now, a team led by Brown University neuroscientists believes it has found the source of the sleeping piano lesson, and it's not where many expected it to be. Neuroscience has been fixated since its founding on why the brain “needs” that peculiar mix of dormancy and random activity known as sleep.