Category Archives: Sleep

March 11

The Future of the Neuroscience of Dreaming

What is the purpose of dreaming? What do the contents of your dreams mean? What is your brain doing during dreams to produce the sometimes surreal experiences that leave you confused upon waking? Why do we remember some parts of our dreams, but struggle to recall the events in others? The unsatisfying answer to these […]

December 17

The Big Sleep: How We Hibernate

As December deepens, we rapidly find ourselves coming up on the first day of winter. Though winter officially begins on the 21st, many animals began their preparations for the season far earlier this year. Any birdwatcher could easily tell you that most birds migrated south a long while ago, and any hiker could tell you […]

November 12

How Light Leads to Darkness: A Neural Link Between Nighttime Light and Depression

Nighttime light exposure can lead to depression. A new study brings us closer to understanding why, and what we can do about it.

July 09

How much does your brain pay attention while you’re asleep?

*Tick, tick, tick* I glance over into the dusty corner of the dimly lit room, and to my horror, I see what looks like some sort of explosive device fitted with a clock, inevitably ticking down to my demise. *Tick, tick, tick* I freeze in fear, unsure of how to resolve this situation. The ticking […]

April 30

Does cannabis help you sleep?

Marijuana is commonly used to help people fall asleep, but does the science back that up?

September 19

How long have we been sleeping?

“J’ai peur du sommeil comme on a peur d’un grand trou, Tout plein de vague horreur…” In his phenomenal ‘Les fleurs du mal’ (‘Flowers of Evil’), Baudelaire promenades through the darkness of the night and with his characteristic gloomy brush, paints sleep as ‘a great hole’ that he fears. This myth surrounding sleep as a […]

May 30

You’re getting sleepy: Brain mechanisms of anesthesia and natural sleep

[En español] “Take a deep breath and count backwards from 10…” “10…9…8…7….” If you are one of the many people that have had surgery under general anesthesia, you may remember these words from your anesthesiologist, beginning the countdown yourself, then probably ….nothing. When you awoke later, you were already out of surgery and in a […]

February 22

Conscious in Dreamland: The Neuroscience of Lucid Dreaming

I do a lot of weird things while sleeping. I talk, walk, and experience vivid dreams, all without conscious awareness. Despite the fact that my dreams are often absurd, I don’t question their content while I’m in them. (Oh, I’ve been hired to make a documentary about Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz and his […]

October 19

To sleep, perchance to roam

You jolt awake, sensing a presence in your room. Heart racing, you open your eyes and the figure comes into focus. Her glassy eyes seem to stare right through you. You sigh thinking, “not again,” and take your sleepwalking child back to bed.   In the middle of the night, I go walking in my […]

April 27

Half Asleep

Sleep, though one of my greatest joys in life, is frustratingly unproductive. As much as I love to curl up in bed, close my eyes and flip the off-switch on my consciousness, the realization that I spend 24-33% of my day just staring at the backs of my eyelids is exasperating. Imagine the possibilities if […]