Does sleep loss affect men and women’s memory differently?

Sleep loss is a major cause of serious, and sometimes fatal, accidents. There is consistent evidence linking poor sleep to road traffic and numerous industrial accidents such as the nuclear explosion at Chernobyl. One reason for this, besides sleep’s importance for concentration and attention, rests on our inability to accurately gauge to what extent sleep…

How Does the Sleeping Brain Improve Our Memory?

It’s an enticing idea. While we are sleeping soundly away in bed, our brains are working on the day’s memories and organising them appropriately. If sleep is undisturbed, we are better equipped to remember our day time experiences the following day. Earlier this month, a recent paper in Current Biology has shed some light on…

Can REM Sleep Protect You Against Traumatic Experiences?

Around one in twenty of us will receive a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) over the course of our lives (Chapter 4). It involves nightmares, flashbacks, memory difficulties, avoidance and hypervigilance, and although not the only cause, sleep has been identified as a contributing factor in the development of these symptoms. This is where…

The BMJ, Big Ben, and Season’s Greetings

I haven’t left you guys – honest. I have decided to focus on making this blog fortnightly, so I can give myself a bit more time to interview scientists more – you know, the exciting stuff I want this blog to be full of! For now, enjoy this Christmas (ish) post. Nothing says Christmas like…

Is Sleep Loss Priming Us to See Food in a Different Light?

We’ve all been there. You’ve had a late night and the following day you find yourself lunging for the chocolate and crisps conveniently located on the office snack table (and don’t tell me you don’t have one). We convince ourselves this is just to get us through the fatigue and mild irritation which comes with…

Should We Start Drinking Cherry Juice To Improve Our Sleep?

The internet is awash with advice based on rubbish science, and it’s not unusual for news outlet to pick up on this. Luckily, I have a source who expertly scours the internet and provides me with the best of the worst scientific journalism. Today’s offering is from the Daily Mail who are advertising the miraculous…

Why we should be logging off from social media well before bedtime

So I am trying to experiment with shorter style articles a little bit. For those lovely people out there reading this, any feedback you have on this short pieces would be much loved!  It is a fact universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a smartphone must be in want of all of…

Do Insects Need Sleep?

Anyone with even the slightest fear of creepy crawlies has probably been in the following situation. You settle down for the evening and quick as a flash you see a behemoth of a spider run out. It dashes underneath the sofa before you can react, and, your night ruined, you are left waiting for it…