Of all the biological functions that allude and confuse me, sleep most certainly takes the prize. I’ll be honest, one of my common complaints against the human body besides the lack of the ability to choose if I could be without the uterus is that why do we need sleep to begin with? (Or food for that matter, but then I enjoy food more or less so…)
The reason why I am writing about sleep is because for the last couple of days my twitter feed has been filled with people not getting any sleep or not getting the restful sleep they wanted. Not to mention, I haven’t had a decent night of sleep in over a month (-ish). So, sleep…
Well sleep is clearly important, ask any sleep-deprived final year student chugging down their eighth cup of coffee. But did you know sleep is important even for dating? I guess that puts my singledom in a better context. It’s not that I have high standards (I do), it’s because of the wretched curse of SLEEP. Basically a bunch of scientists deprived young flies of sleep by mechanical disruption (aka shaking the tubes the flies are in I assume) or increasing the temperature and then they checked the courtship index of the flies. They found that young flies produce less dopamine which keeps the sleep promoting brain region active, and voila you have longer naps. You can read the paper here (unfortunately behind a pay wall). (I originally wanted to talk about the paper but the font size is making my eyes water.) You can also listen to this podcast by The Naked Scientists that talks about the paper and what a in the red sleep ledger might do to you. It’s an interesting podcast (I’ll admit, I only recently discovered this podcast and have been going through their archives.)
Well flies and dating aside, for those of you who have been having trouble sleeping I would like to recommend the app Pzizz. It has two different modules for power naps and actual sleep. I have tried their power naps and I have to admit, it does work! As for the sleeping bit, the one week I tried it before my migraine episode I had some of the best sleep in weeks (I am going to go back to using it soon). So give it a try if you want!