A New Study Suggests A Lack of Sleep Makes Your Brain Eat Itself

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Weird, shape-shifting glial cells are your brain’s caretakers. They’re the first responders in the event of a head injury, and — having colonized every nook and cranny of the place while you were still in the womb — they’re your cranial custodians. These tentacled helpers clear out the junk and are vital to keeping your brain smoothly humming along. But now a new study has discovered something startling about them: they eat healthy brain cells in mice who don’t get enough shut-eye. And maybe in us, too.

  • astrocytes are like gardeners for your neural synapses, pruning away bits you don’t use to continually keep your wiring tidy and efficient.
  • microglial cells are the garbage collectors, constantly on the lookout for used-up cells and other stuff that could get in the way.

There were three groups of mice in the study. The first group could sleep as long as they wanted, the second group was kept awake an extra eight hours before being allowed to sleep, and the third were kept away for five days to mimic chronic sleep loss. The researchers found that both kinds of glial cells put in destructive overtime in tired mice’s brains.


In the group of well-rested mice, astrocytes were seen to be active in about 6% of a mouse’s synapses….

93% of Travelers Experience Jet Lag, but Jet Lag Never Gets Me

How many times have you planned an itinerary only to fall behind schedule by a few hours – or even a whole day? Getting on a red eye or delayed flight is never fun when business awaits you at your destination. You arrive in a foreign country swollen eyed or with eye bags, and try to make sense of what you have to do.

As exciting as flying halfway around the world is, it can also be stressful for all the unnecessary reasons. Whether you are finally embarking on the trip of your dreams or jet setting for business-related reasons, jetlag doesn’t have to be part of your travel package.

You didn’t fly all the way to Europe to unintentionally sleep half a day away. Just think of all the authentic pasta, gelato and pizza waiting to be devoured.

Physical Condition Isn’t Immune from Jet Lag Influence

Many believe that jet lag is merely a state of mind, and has nothing to do with our body’s physical condition – as if it’s a switch we can turn on and off. The battle with jet lag is more than just sleeping when it still bright out and staying awake when everyone isn’t. In fact, almost 93% of travelers experience it.

A recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)1 kept track of Major League Baseball’s schedules, scores and player performance in a span of twenty years and over 40,000 games. Results showed that players who had to fly east had poorer performance than the home team, surrendered more runs, and lost frequently.

Troublesome Symptoms That Kill A Journey

Usual symptoms of jet lag2 include insomnia, fatigue, nausea, and daytime sleepiness.

For more sensitive individuals, indigestion and diarrhoea may occur. Jet lag is said to get worse when one travels from west to east since “time is lost” by going back a few time zones.

Fighting Flying Blues

1. Adjust to your environment.

Block out the loud gossiping. Instead of getting cranky, leave the crying kids be – it’s part of childhood. Consider the airplane buzz as white noise, eventually it’ll feel relaxing. Turbulence may come and go; think of it as a roller coaster ride instead….

Do You Have The Right Mattress For Your Body Type?

what is the best mattress
what is the best mattress

If you have been frequently waking up with back pains and a bad mood, it’s probably your mattress to blame.

In general, we spend as much as a third of our lives in bed so it’s only right that we invest in the right mattress. It should be able to give you both comfort and support so your spine, ligaments and muscles can relax during the only time your body gets to relax.

So, should you get a new mattress? Check out these telltale signs:

  • If your mattress is already sagging, it’s high time you give it a rest. Over time, springs can break down, fibers can wear out and foams can get softer. These things can mean lack of support to your most vulnerable parts.
  • The presence of lumps can mean uneven density and this can lead to uncomfortable pressure points.
  • Ideally, you should replace your mattress every 7 to 10 years. If yours is more than that, you’re compromising your sleep.
  • The presence of more pains and aches than you had before you went to bed is a clear sign you already need a replacement.
  • Most mattresses can accumulate allergens, particularly mold, dust mites and mildew. If you find yourself sneezing whenever you get close to your bed, consider assessing your mattress.

See Also: 10 Things You Never Knew About Bed Bugs

What Is The Best Mattress?

The best mattress is the one that will work best for your body type. As your body has its own contours and needs, you have to know exactly what your options are. There several types of mattresses you can choose from.

Here are some of them:

Memory Foam

The memory foam, particularly the visco elastic foam, is conceptualized by NASA scientists. It’s patterned from the material that was supposed to absorb the effects of G forces during the take-off process.

Compared with other mattresses, this one is special in that it follows the contour of the sleeper’s body. It helps distribute weight to eliminate pressure points. This makes memory foam great for those who suffer from back problems and other body aches.

There are different formulations when it comes to memory foams. There’s the standard memory foam that is temperature sensitive. There’s also the plant-based memory foam which is more breathable and has a faster response. The last type is the gel-infused type which is commonly marketed as…

What Do Our Dreams Mean? Psychologists Have Different Answers

For a long time, dream has been under the radar of many scientists. It has been such a mythical phenomenon that many would like to know more about. More importantly, many of us are curious about the answer to the question “Why do we dream?”.

There is no certainty about the actual function of sleep or dreams. And everybody dreams, yet memories of dreams remembered varies.

What do dreams do to us? Do they serve any purposes at all?

This is a question that remains unanswered. The speculations and theories continue.

A common theory is that sleep and dreams work as a team, helping the brain to refresh and restore after capturing millions of inputs each day. The inputs are sensory details that may be minor like colours and major mind boggling details like those in seminars or presentations. While sleeping, the brain sifts through the information and refines it, keeping what is needed and disposing content into the recycle and trash compartments. Researchers have speculated that dreams are a tool in this process.

Dreaming is the protoconscious state. This occurs during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep. It also occurs at other stages including the fourth stage of sleep ( Slow Wave Sleep-SWS). This is the deepest stage of sleep. Studies shown dreams vary according to sleep stage they occur in. Most dreams are reported during the REM stage. 1

Sleep stages

Emerging neuroscience views insinuate that dreams are linked to memory consolidation that occurs during sleep. These many include recording and organising memories according to emotional drives as well as transferring memories…

Sleep Facts – 36 Interesting Facts About Sleep

sleep facts

Sleep facts: 36 Interesting facts about sleep. Sleep is one of the most complex physiological processes which is still not fully understood till now. An average man spends one third of his life sleeping. Still we know very little about how it functions and what is its role in the life process.

Sleep facts

Its no wonder there are so many pervasive myths about sleep.

Research on sleep began only in the middle of the 20th century.

The REM or the Rapid Eye Movement sleep was first discovered in 1950’s.

It was in the late fifties that research about sleep started in the right earnest. Sleep evoked very little scientific interest because it was thought to be a passive process.

Sleep is not a passive activity but is a process characterized by complex, regular and cyclic pattern each night. There are various hemostatic processes which happen during sleep.

The endocrine glands, which pours its secretion directly into the blood, increases the secretion of growth hormones and prolactin, which is vital for the functioning of our immune system.

The REM sleep is the period when we dream and can be easily discerned by the rapid movements of our eyeballs.

REM sleep or dreaming is crucial and is a process by which long-term memories are consolidated, and neural connections are built.

Among mammals, only man can delay his sleep.

All mammals and birds experience REM sleep.

Facts about sleep

Cold blooded animals like reptiles do not have REM sleep.

A person who has been born blind will have only auditory dreams.

Sleep disruption is a common problem in high altitudes, greater the altitude, more the sleep disturbance. Most people take some time to adjust to the new altitude.

Studies have revealed that widowed, divorced or separated people have problems in sleeping.

Sleeping pills are the most prescribed drugs in the world, and according to a study, 10% of US population has been prescribed a sleeping pill for sleep disorders in 2010.

The report also indicts the hypnotic medications like temazepam and zolpidem, to increased risks of death and cancer.

An average adult requires seven to nine hours of sleep per day. However, there are exception and persons can function well even after six hours of sleep

Sleep is critical just like diet and exercise, and a report by International Classifications of Sleep Disorders said that shift workers are at greatest risk to suffer from…

Best Money Tips: Avoid These Foods to Sleep Better

Welcome to Wise Bread’s Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we found articles on foods to avoid if you want to sleep better, ways to get free samples from Walmart, and things that first-time homebuyers need to know.

Top 5 Articles

The Enemies of Sleep – Avoid These 5 Foods to Sleep Better — Avoid eating spicy foods close to bedtime if you don’t want to experience heartburn when you lie down. [Pick The Brain]

How to Get Free Samples from Walmart — Check with your local Walmart store manager about upcoming in-store events where vendors may give away free samples. [Well Kept Wallet]

4 things first-time homebuyers need to know — It may be tempting to be a fixer-upper, but know that renovations are almost always more expensive than you expect — or what you see on TV. [CNN Money]

Forgot a Mother’s Day Gift?…

Fall Asleep and Wake Up Refreshed On This High-Tech Pillow

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Nutrition, physical activity and sleep are the cornerstones of health. Yet, sleep seems to be the most overlooked, with electronic devices, light pollution, stress, busy schedules, and Netflix all standing in the way. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention an estimated 50-70 million US adults have sleep or wakefulness disorder, and more than a third of adults are getting less than the recommended minimum of seven hours of sleep. People with sleep insufficiency are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.

Sleep is my greatest enemy.

— Netflix US (@netflix) April 17, 2017

To tackle some of the causes for the reduced quantity and quality of our sleep, a team of LA designers and engineers has created the Sunrise Pillow, a pillow that helps you fall asleep and wake up in the most optimal and natural way.

As the creators of the pillow explain, we have stopped falling asleep and waking up naturally. At night, we stay up late even if we are tired, with blue light beaming from our devices and hindering the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps us sleep. In the morning, alarm clocks wake us up abruptly regardless of our sleep cycle and if daylight doesn’t enter our rooms our bodies don’t receive the necessary signals to stop producing melatonin. And during the night, of course, there are…

‘The World’s Saddest Dog’ Loses Her Home Again, And Might Be Put To Sleep If No One Adopts Her Soon

Lana, the canine known as ‘the saddest dog in the world’, is homeless again – and she might be put to sleep if she doesn’t find someone to take her in. Back in 2015, a picture of Lana dejected in her kennel went viral. At that time, the family who adopted the shelter pooch returned her back, making her too sad to go on walks. “It’s almost like her world shut down,” Dahlia Ayoub of Mighty Mutts told in 2015.

The reason why they surrendered her back to the shelter was that Lana snapped at her human mom. The doggie’s memories of being the runt of the litter may have triggered the urge to protect her food. However, the shelter found someone who give her a second chance, and so Lana was adopted again. Up until recently, that is.

“Lana’s adoption did not work out because people want a dog they can pet and play with,” said Brenda Dobranski, founder of Rescue Dogs…

37 Photos Of Kids Taking A Quick Snooze In Odd Places

Though kids are notorious for keeping their parents from sleeping, they can apparently pass out almost anywhere for a quick snooze. Whether they’re at the grocery store, at a restaurant, or just in the hallway, many kids seem happy to make due with wherever they are to get some sleep.

We asked the HuffPost Parents community to share photos of the random places their kids have fallen asleep. Check out the hilarious and impressive results below:

  • Nicci Brooks
  • Katie-Anne Mentus
  • Jodie Aiolfi
  • Natalie Thompson

    She won’t sleep for me, driving around in a car doesn’t work, cuddling — nope, but leave her with a babysitter and I get photos like this.

  • Geraldine Simpson
  • Danielle Frahn
  • Jennifer Robinson-Lee
  • Shawn L Battmer

    My husband sent this to me shortly after I went back to work, still cracks me up! She was…

How to Stop Snoring Immediately: 3 Practical Ways To Get Back Your Peace


is not necessarily a serious problem, and generally speaking almost everyone snores occasionally. However, if you are constantly snoring at night, it can disrupt the sleep of those who are nearby, and prevent them from having a good night’s rest. Additionally, if you snore every time you go to sleep, it can indicate that you are having health issues, and some of them could be more serious than you think.

Most commonly people resolve this issue by simply sleeping in separate bedrooms, but luckily, this is not the only solution. Here we will examine the basics of snoring, like how it occurs and what the cause is, and some solutions are going to be provided as well, to help you get rid of it.

What is actually happening?

Basically, when air cannot move freely through your nose and throat as you sleep, you snore. The snoring sound is created by the vibration of the tissue, as a result of an obstructed airflow. One of the reason why the air is obstructed is because people simply have too much throat or nasal tissue, which is prone to vibration. Luckily, this is nothing serious and there are easy solutions for this, which will be addressed in this article.

On the other hand, if your own snoring interferes with your sleep, then it could indicate 1 This is a serious condition and it requires a medical attention, and if you are suffering from fatigue and sleepiness, even after a good night’s rest, make sure you visit your doctor. Normal snoring does not wake you up or disrupt your sleep, whereas in the case of sleep apnea your sleep is interrupted up to hundreds of times per night, which is really alarming.

What are the possible causes?

Much like sneezing can be caused by allergies, cold, or when someone simply tickles your nose, there can be different causes for snoring. Here are some of the most common reasons why you snore.

Age – As we get older our throats become narrower, and also our throat muscles shrink, which can result in more floppy tissue which vibrates. Even though you can’t combat old age, you can make some alterations to your lifestyle, and add some throat exercises that can help you reduce snoring.

The way we are – Men are more likely to snore than women, because they have a narrower air passage. So, if you have a narrow throat, or enlarged adenoids or any other physical attribute like a cleft palate for example, you can be more prone to snoring. Again, you cannot…