Med thumb woke

Looking to catch up on the latest discussions and research in the world of shuteye? I've got you covered:

Sleep helps us forget stuff (and that's a good thing)

Our deep-sleeping brains strengthen memories of important facts and experiences by helping us forget trivial knowledge that we acquire during the day. This idea has been floating around sleep and neuroscience research for a while. But, a pair of recently published studies offers new, varied evidence that a lot of our synapses — the connections between neurons that get swole when we learn stuff — get smaller (and weaker) during sleep. Consider it "smart forgetting."  [The Atlantic]

Go ahead, squeeze in a casual 13-mile run before work

One serious morning person explains how she preps for, and actually finishes, half-marathons before stepping foot in the office. [Shape]

To shift your body clock, live outside for a few days 

When people ditch their devices and go live in nature — even just for a weekend — their sleep schedules shift, as their bed-and-wake times start to sync up with daily light-and-dark cycles. This news comes courtesy of researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who sent enterprising study participants on camping trips, during the summer and winter, and kept tabs on their daily shuteye patterns and melatonin levels. Feeling outdoorsy yet? [Van Winkle's]

More sleep = more (and better) sex, for women over 50

Sleep data, collected from 94,000 women ages 50-79, showed that women who get 7-8 hours of sleep are more likely to have active (and even satisfying) sex lives than those who cut their rest short. The trend bore out strongest for oldest participants. [Study press release, courtesy of The North American Menopause Society]

Sleep myths, dispelled and explained

Thanks to 36-hour hospital shifts, and the exhaustion-fueled delirium that came with them, a doctor-turned-editor became "sort of obsessive about sleep." Here's his guide to sleep — on what to know, what to stop doing and, generally, how to sleep. [The Atlantic]

No phones in bed! Unless, of course, you're using a sleep app

From guided meditation to boring bedtime stories, a lifelong insomniac tries out five apps designed to put you to bed. [Reader's Digest]

A "good night's sleep" comes down to 4 things

Does it matter how much you sleep? How many times you wake up? How easily you resume snoozing? How long you spend tossing and turning? Yes, to all of it, according to the National Sleep Foundation. [The Science of Us]