Looking to catch up on the latest discussions and research in the world of shuteye? I've got you covered. Here's this week's Nightcap:
I'm tired, I think?
As we humans age, we gradually lose the ability to fall into a long, deep slumber: By age 50, people spend about half as much time in deep sleep as they did in their 20s. Why? Well, based on a series of rodent experiments, researchers at the UC Berkeley sleep and neuroimaging lab believe the aging brain loses neuronal connections that pick up on sleepiness cues. In other words, older people need as much sleep as anyone else, but may have more trouble recognizing when they're tired. "It's almost like a radio antenna that’s weak," explained lead study author Matthew Walker. [PopSci]
$leep is in for spring
Remember when it was cool to complain about being too busy to sleep? Well the times and lifestyle trends and status symbols, they are a changin'. If your brand is "I crush it," then you're shelling out for Deep Rest meditation classes and melatonin-friendly light bulbs and goggles that reset your body clock. And no, sleep isn't the new sex (that was a decade ago). It's the new measure of success — "a skill to be cultivated and nourished." [NYT]
Can't sleep? Try thanking your feet.
And get rid of your gizmos and listen to boring podcasts and freeze yourself drowsy and...This list of get-to-sleep tricks — both cockamamie and v. obvious — is a companion piece to the previous story. [NYT]
Wide awake and all alone
Insomnia and loneliness are two scourges that show up together with statistically significant frequency. But why? Do people get lonely and then stop sleeping? Or do they get lonely because they stop sleeping? Researchers take a stab at explaining the crappy phenomenon. [Van Winkle's]
Snaps over naps
The UK bedmaker Silentnight surveyed more than 2,000 Brits about their sleep and social media use and found that Snap-Chatters reported a higher incidence of insomnia than users of other platforms — 68 percent of Snap-happy respondents said "they were unable to sleep because of the selfie app." But Instagram wasn't far behind, as 62 percent of Insta-philes said they faced the bedtime battle, too. [Loaded]
Night-owl problems, volume XX
Regardless of how well they sleep, night owls with Type 2 diabetes were more likely to report symptoms of depression than diabetic early birds were in a new study. Untreated depression, according to researchers behind the study, is associated with health issues including complications from diabetes. [Endocrine Society]
Night-owl problems, volume XXI
Researchers at the Rockefeller University were able to link a genetic mutation to a longer-than-normal sleep-and-wake cycle. Carriers of the gene — about 1 in 75 people of non-Finnish, European ancestry — had a noticeably delayed sleep phase, meaning their natural sleep-and-wake times lagged 2 to 2.5 hours behind non-carriers. [Cell Press]
Dragging after work? Get moving during lunch.
A new study says taking "slow-paced walks in green or natural environments" during lunch translates to increased work productivity and EOD energy. [Time]
Dull minds and sharp noses
After staying up all night, participants in one new study showed increased neuronal activity in response to food-related odors, including the sickly sweet, mouth-watering aroma of cinnamon buns. Non-food odors, like the Christmas tree smell, didn't provoke the same reaction in their sleep-deprived brains. The study results jibe with earlier research linking sleep deprivation to bingeing and weight gain. Cinnabons for e'ryone. [Science News]