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Saturday, 16 March 2019 00:00

Researchers Confirm: Sleep Is Good for You

Does it seem a waste of valuable time to spend a third of life sleeping? If humans are so much more advanced than other animals, why do we require such a sizable period of downtime every day? Haven't we, by now, come up with an efficient way to substitute for the benefits of sleep without actually having to spend all those hours in the Land of Nod?

Researchers at Bar-Ilan University in Israel recently published a study in the journal Nature Communications that indicates new and interesting ways in which sleep and sleep disturbances may impact aging, brain performance, and a variety of brain disorders.

By looking at 3D time-lapse images in live zebrafish, the researchers narrowed down sleep to a single chromosome view and also came up with the ground-breaking discovery that each individual neuron needs sleep in order to conduct "nuclear maintenance".

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You’ve likely heard of white noise as a way to block out distracting sound. However, a new trend has experts recommending pink noise, which is a slightly higher-pitched version. And research indicates you may get a more restful sleep with a pink noise generator on your nightstand.

A 2017 study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience revealed that participants who used pink noise not only got more restful sleep, but they also demonstrated memory improvement. A previous study had already found memory improvement among younger adults who used pink noise during sleep. But this study showed the memory benefits of pink noise in older adults.

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More than one-third of U.S. adults aren’t getting enough sleep at night, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and it’s a serious problem. Not only are there physical health problems associated with lack of sleep, but a new study reveals that there may be mental health issues, as well.

A team of researchers that followed a group of 61-year-olds for 12 years revealed that those who spend less time in REM sleep may have a higher risk for eventually developing dementia. Of the 321 adults the team followed, 32 got dementia, with 24 of the cases being Alzheimer’s.

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