How Much Sleep You Should Be Getting
Many Grouchy, Error-Prone Workers Just Need More Sleep
April 26, 2016
Fatigue is cumulative, he says, and missing the equivalent of one night’s sleep is like having a blood alcohol concentration of about 0.1 — above the legal limit to drive.
What Sleeping Babies Hear
A Functional MRI Study of Interparental Conflict and Infants’ Emotion Processing
Alice M. Graham, et al.
Experiences of adversity in the early years of life alter the developing brain.
However, evidence documenting this relationship often focuses on severe stressors and relies on peripheral measures of neurobiological functioning during infancy.
In the present study, we employed functional MRI during natural sleep to examine associations between a more moderate environmental stressor (nonphysical interparental conflict) and 6- to 12-month-old infants’ neural processing of emotional tone of voice.
The primary question was whether interparental conflict experienced by infants is associated with neural responses to emotional tone of voice, particularly very angry speech.
Results indicated that maternal report of higher interparental conflict was associated with infants’ greater neural responses to very angry relative to neutral speech across several brain regions implicated in emotion and stress reactivity and regulation (including rostral anterior cingulate cortex, caudate, thalamus, and hypothalamus).
These findings suggest that even moderate environmental stress may be associated with brain functioning during infancy.
Keywords: psychological stress, neuroimaging, emotional development, infant development
Shhh, The Kids Can Hear You Arguing (Even When They’re Asleep)
April 29, 2013
Enhancing the plasticity of the brain
Dr. Max Cynader
brain plasticity: after 20 pounds your biomechanics are different yet you still have to walk gracefully
MEMORY: your ability to reconstruct the whole from a degraded fragment
Why Sleep Is Important for Health: A Psychoneuroimmunology Perspective.
Annu Rev Psychol. 2014 Jul 21.
Sleep has a critical role in promoting health.
Research over the past decade has documented that sleep disturbance has a powerful influence on the risk of infectious disease, the occurrence and progression of several major medical illnesses including cardiovascular disease and cancer, and the incidence of depression.
Increasingly, the field has focused on identifying the biological mechanisms underlying these effects.
This review highlights the impact of sleep on adaptive and innate immunity, with consideration of the dynamics of sleep disturbance, sleep restriction, and insomnia on (a) antiviral immune responses with consequences for vaccine responses and infectious disease risk and (b) proinflammatory immune responses with implications for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and depression.
This review also discusses the neuroendocrine and autonomic neural underpinnings linking sleep disturbance and immunity and the reciprocal links between sleep and inflammatory biology. Finally, interventions are discussed as effective strategies to improve sleep, and potential opportunities are identified to promote sleep health for therapeutic control of chronic infectious, inflammatory, and neuropsychiatric diseases.
Pharmacological interventions for sleepiness and sleep disturbances caused by shift work
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014, Issue 8. Art. No.: CD009776
Shift work results in sleep-wake disturbances, which cause sleepiness during night shifts and reduce sleep length and quality in daytime sleep after the night shift. In its serious form it is also called shift work sleep disorder. Various pharmacological products are used to ameliorate symptoms of sleepiness or poor sleep length and quality.
Hypnotic medication, zopiclone, did not result in significantly longer daytime sleep length compared to placebo in one low quality trial and we could not use the data from the study on lormetazepam.
There is low quality evidence that melatonin improves sleep length after a night shift but not other sleep quality parameters.
Both modafinil and armodafinil increase alertness and reduce sleepiness to some extent in employees who suffer from shift work sleep disorder but they are associated with adverse events.
Caffeine plus naps reduces sleepiness during the night shift, but the quality of evidence is low.
Based on one low quality trial, hypnotics did not improve sleep length and quality after a night shift.
We need more and better quality trials on the beneficial and adverse effects and costs of all pharmacological agents that induce sleep or promote alertness in shift workers both with and without a diagnosis of shift work sleep disorder.
We also need systematic reviews of their adverse effects.