Category Archives: Sleep Science

Sleeping with a Clear Conscience

There is no pillow as soft as a clear conscience. — French proverb

A clear conscience makes a soft pillow. — American proverb

The softest pillow is a clear conscience.  — Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

praying child

There’s been a debate for centuries about whether or not sleeping with a clear conscience makes for a better night’s sleep. It’s even a recurring theme in Shakespeare’s Macbeth who felt as though when he murdered the King in his sleep that he actually murdered sleep. Although there are plenty of theories on sleeping with a clear conscience, there haven’t been any definitive studies done to lend weight to the ages old theory regarding conscience and sleep.

Non REM Sleep

non rem sleep

Sleep is composed of natural sleep cycles of brain activity, and is made up of two basic phases with individual stages within. These include rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep.

What is Non REM Sleep?

Non REM sleep occurs during the first four sleep phases, and before REM sleep, which is the final stage before the sleep cycle repeats itself. On average each stage lasts from five to 15 minutes. A typical night’s sleep is comprised of 75% non-REM sleep and 25% REM sleep.

REM Sleep

rapid eye movement sleep

There are 5 distinct sleep stages, with REM sleep being one of them. Most people fall into the REM sleep stage nightly, and many experience it four or five times each night.

What is REM Sleep?

REM stands for rapid eye movement, and is characterized by random, fast-darting movements of the eyes. While the amount of time you spend in REM sleep varies depending on your age, most adults spend up to 25 percent of their total sleep time in REM sleep. On the other hand, newborns spend more than 75 percent of their sleep time in REM sleep.

Sleep Study Part 4: Human Peptide Hypocretin Linked to Happiness

happiness

Happiness may not come from your family, friends, or wealth, at least according to a new study. Rather, it comes from a peptide.

Led by the University of California Los Angeles, an international team of researchers has linked levels of hypocretin (a human peptide and neurotransmitter) to happiness. They found that the levels of hypocretin soared when we are happy, and also decreased when we are sad.

Sleep Studies Part 3: Weight Gain and Sleep

scale

When people are sleep deprived, they tend to eat more, which causes them to gain weight. This was the finding of a fresh study conducted at the University of Colorado, Boulder that was published online in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences journal.

“Just getting less sleep, by itself, is not going to lead to weight gain,” lead study author Kenneth Wright, director of CU-Boulder’s Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory said. “But when people get insufficient sleep, it leads them to eat more than they actually need,” Wright noted.

Sleep Studies Part 2: Diet and Sleep

diet

Sleep Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine studied the dietary divergences among individuals with diverse sleep patterns. What they found in a diet and sleep study, as published in the journal Appetite, was striking.

Sleep Studies Part 1: Seals Offer a Peek into Human Sleep

seals

An increasing amount of sleep research is being conducted on a daily basis, and some of it is quite intriguing. To that end, we’re starting a new series on the PlushBeds Blog on “sleep studies”. You can expect to see posts on new sleep studies periodically as fascinating new sleep research comes out.

Seals Sleep With Half of Their Brain

A new sleep study published online in the Journal of Neuroscience has identified chemicals in a seal’s brain that enable them to sleep with half of their brain at a time. In other words, seals have the ability to be awake and asleep simultaneously! How amazing is that?

Sleep Phases

ready for bed

When you sleep every night, without you even realizing it, your brain goes through five distinct sleep phases or stages: phases 1,2,3,4, and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. You complete one full sleep cycle when you pass through all five stages of sleep. Passing through these stages usually takes approximately 90 minutes, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Let’s take a look at each individual stage, shall we?

Binaural Beats for Sleep

listening to headphones

Getting a good night’s sleep is extremely challenging for many people around the world. One method more and more people are turning to for capturing that all-important sleep is listening to binaural beats. While it may sound like some far-fetched music from a foreign land, there is science to these sounds that alter brain wave activity and make sleep possible.

The Best Temperature for Sleeping

sleeping temperature

There’s been a host of discussion about various factors that impact a person’s quality of sleep, including the amount of light in the room, foods eaten,bedroom colors, mattress firmness, and type of mattress. Let’s add another one to the list: your bedroom’s air temperature. The connection between sleep, body temperature, and air temperature has been debated by more than one expert in the field.