Sleep

HSTCreativity can seem like magic … actually, it’s not. Jonah Lehrer writes in the Wired Science:

Here’s a brain teaser: Your task is to move a single line so that the false arithmetic statement below becomes true.

IV = III + III

Did you get it? In this case, the solution is rather obvious – you should move the first “I” to the right side of the “V,” so that the statement now reads: VI = III + III. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of people (92 percent) quickly solve this problem, as it requires a standard problem-solving approach in which only the answer is altered. What’s perhaps a bit more surprising is that nearly 90 percent of patients with brain damage to the prefrontal lobes — this leaves them with severe attentional deficits, unable to control their mental spotlight — are also able to find the answer …


Between SleepStephanie Hegarty reports in BBC News:

We often worry about lying awake in the middle of the night – but it could be good for you. A growing body of evidence from both science and history suggests that the eight-hour sleep may be unnatural.

In the early 1990s, psychiatrist Thomas Wehr conducted an experiment in which a group of people were plunged into darkness for 14 hours every day for a month.

It took some time for their sleep to regulate but by the fourth week the subjects had settled into a very distinct sleeping pattern. They slept first for four hours, then woke for one or two hours before falling into a second four-hour sleep.

Though sleep scientists were impressed by the study, among the general public the idea that we must sleep for eight consecutive hours persists …




So that’s their secret! Melinda Beck reports for the Wall Street Journal:

For a small group of people—perhaps just 1% to 3% of the population—sleep is a waste of time.

Natural “short sleepers,” as they’re officially known, are night owls and early birds simultaneously. They typically turn in well after midnight, then get up just a few hours later and barrel through the day without needing to take naps or load up on caffeine.

They are also energetic, outgoing, optimistic and ambitious…


Interesting article from Robert Alison in the Winnipeg Free Press earlier in the year: Sleep is a fundamental component of animal biology. New evidence confirms that, in humans, its timing reflects intelligence….



Who knew? From the New York Times: Some people sleepwalk; others talk in their sleep. Now a study finds that 1 in 12 patients with sleep disorders reported having had sex while…


Jeremy Hsu writes on LiveScience: Playing video games before bedtime may give people an unusual level of awareness and control in their dreams, LiveScience has learned. That ability to shape the alternate…


Uh-oh! Discovery News reports that chronic lack of sleep could end up costing you more than the price of that extra cup of coffee you need to stay awake: Chronic insomniacs losing…