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BrainFacts.org

Introduction

People spend much of their lives asleep. Sleep is vital to survival, and it helps the nervous system function properly. Studies reveal that when animals and people fail to get enough sleep, concentration, coordination, memory, and mood suffer. Additionally, sleep issues often affect people with psychiatric and neurological disorders. Recent studies are revealing how brain cells and chemicals work together to regulate sleep and the changes that take place in the brain when a person is sleep-deprived. Using advanced molecular, cellular, and brain imaging technologies, researchers are exploring the activity of different brain regions during sleep, and how certain events and disorders alter sleep states. This information could lead to new treatments for sleep disorders — which affect millions worldwide — and deeper understanding of the relationship between sleep and various diseases.

Discoveries

Source: American Chemical Society
Your smartphone addiction isn't helping you sleep. In fact, an obscure chemical reaction may be keeping you awake.
Source: Society for Neuroscience
The brain is the home of the body’s internal clock. Genetics can alter this clock, as the 2012 second place Brain Awareness Video Contest winner explains.
Source: CIHR – Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction
Each of us spends about one-third of our life asleep. By the time you’re 75, you will have spent 25 years sleeping. Suppressing sleep for an extended period has dramatic effects on an organism’s physiological equilibrium.

Sleep in the News

Source: The Washington Post
Date: 10 Feb 2015
As many as 2.5 million Americans, most of them undiagnosed, may suffer from the disorder.
Source: Huffington Post
Date: 3 Feb 2015
Vanderbilt scientists found that they were able to artificially stimulate mice's brains with a specific technique to change when the mice naturally woke up and went to sleep, without needing to change the light.
Source: CNN
Date: 4 Nov 2014

New study finds odd or changeable work hours linked to impaired cognitive abilities.

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Related Diseases & Conditions

Learn more about regions of the brain.
Animal research. Are mice the best tool to study addiction?
Ask an expert. Submit a question about sleep.