A good night’s rest may literally clear the mind

Brain may flush out toxins during sleep — NIH-funded study suggests sleep clears brain of damaging molecules associated with neurodegeneration – Using mice, researchers showed for the first time that the space between brain cells may increase during sleep, allowing the brain to flush out toxins that build up during waking hours. These results suggest a new role for sleep in health and disease.

Poor sleep may increase risk of heart disease

Poor sleep in adolescents may increase risk of heart disease – Adolescents who sleep poorly may be at risk of cardiovascular disease in later life. “We found an association between sleep disturbance and cardiovascular risk in adolescents, as determined by high cholesterol levels, increased BMI [body mass index] and hypertension,” writes lead author Dr. Indra Narang, respirologist and director of sleep medicine at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Toronto, Ontario.

Stimulation during sleep can enhance skill learning

Learn that tune while fast asleep — Research shows that stimulation during sleep can enhance skill learning – Want to nail that tune that you’ve practiced and practiced? Maybe you should take a nap with the same melody playing during your sleep, new provocative Northwestern University research suggests. The research grows out of exciting existing evidence that suggests that memories can be reactivated during sleep and storage of them can be strengthened in the process.

Less sleep means higher risk of diabetes and obesity

Less sleep, disrupted internal 24-hour clock means higher risk of diabetes and obesity – A new study reinforces the finding that too little sleep or sleep patterns that are inconsistent with our body’s “internal biological clock” may lead to increased risk of diabetes and obesity. This finding has been seen in short-term lab studies and when observing human subjects via epidemiological studies.

Seven hours of sleep best for high school students test

How much sleep do teens really need? Maybe less than you think — Teenagers Should Sleep Seven Hours For Best Test Results – Whether or not you know any high school students that actually get nine hours of sleep each night, that’s what federal guidelines currently prescribe. A new Brigham Young University study found that 16-18 year olds perform better academically when they shave about two hours off that recommendation.

Poor sleep leads to health and behavior problems in young diabetics

Poor sleep linked to increased health and behavior problems in young diabetics – Lighter sleep and breathing problems lead to trouble controlling blood sugar, despite adherence to diabetic health guidelines – Young diabetics may be struggling to get a good night’s sleep, resulting in worse control of their blood sugar, poorer school performance and misbehavior, according to a study appearing in the January edition of the journal Sleep.

Dreaming helps ease bad and painful memories

Dreaming takes the sting out of painful memories — UC Berkeley researchers have found that stress chemicals shut down and the brain processes emotional experiences during the REM dream phase of sleep – During the dream phase of sleep, also known as REM sleep, our stress chemistry shuts down and the brain processes emotional experiences and takes the painful edge off difficult memories. Time spent in dream sleep can help.

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