Wednesday, November 16, 2005

All you need to know about sleep

Sleep is becoming a topic that more and more people are interested in. There have been many new studies to help unlock the secretes of sleep. College students are too familiar with pulling all-nighters, last minute cramming for those big exams. But does it really pay off? How is sleeping related to memory? One article from discusses what part of memory is affected by lack of sleep. This picture of the brain shows and points to the different parts of the brain that are connected to memory. The picture above also shows in a little more detail how each part of the brain is connected to memory. In the very detailed article by Michael Miller titles "Questions and Answers" that was published in the Harvard Mental Health Letter, he talks about the two different sleep cycles called REM and NREM sleep. Each cycle is responsible for a different part of memory. Steven Kotler wrote an excellent article on what many college students are all too familiar with. In his article he discusses how pulling the all-nighters may not be the best way to remember all the information that they study. He also talks about not only the causes of sleep deprivation, but also ways to help one's self get a better sleep. It gives different treatments that are both medical and ones that cane be done just by changing lifestyle habits. This site is very informative on many different levels. There are many charts that help explain REM and NREM sleep and tells exactly how many hours of sleep people should get baised on age. There are also surveys that you can take to see how the average amount of sleep that you get a night compares to others who have taken the survey also. Another article from Harvard Mental Health Letter titled "Snooze Alarm: You Need Your Sleep" is another good source of information. It tells how important sleep is to your health and gives more examples of how to get a better nights sleep. On the other end of the spectrum, Dr. Joseph Mercola wrote and article stating that eight hours of sleep a night may not be needed. Although this article may be appealing to most college students, it's one of the only articles I found that takes that side on the issue. All-nighters sometimes can't be prevented, but in order to keep all of the information learned in college in our brains, we are going to need to get enough sleep.


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