Neuroscience

Not all sleep is equal when it comes to cleaning the brain

New research shows how the depth of sleep can impact our brain's ability to efficiently wash away waste and toxic proteins. Because sleep often becomes increasingly lighter and more disrupted as we become older, the study ...

Neuroscience

Sleep frees up the hippocampus for new memories

Two regions of our brain are central for storing memories: the hippocampus and the neocortex. While the hippocampus is primarily responsible for learning new information and its short-term storage, the neocortex is able to ...

Neuroscience

General anesthesia hijacks sleep circuitry to knock you out

The discovery of general anesthesia 170 years ago was a medical miracle, enabling millions of patients to undergo invasive, life-saving surgeries without pain. Yet despite decades of research, scientists still don't understand ...

Genetics

Research identifies genetic causes of poor sleep

The largest genetic study of its kind ever to use accelerometer data to examine how we slumber has uncovered a number of parts of our genetic code that could be responsible for causing poor sleep quality and duration.

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Sleep

Sleep is a natural state of bodily rest observed in humans and other animals. It is distinguished from quiet wakefulness by a decreased ability to react to stimuli, and it is more easily reversible than hibernation or coma. It is common to all mammals and birds, and is also seen in many reptiles, amphibians, and fish. In humans, other mammals, and a substantial majority of other animals that have been studied (such as some species of fish, birds, ants, and fruit flies), regular sleep is essential for survival.

The purposes and mechanisms of sleep are only partly clear and are the subject of intense research.

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