Study examines link between sperm quality and light from devices at night

Men might want to think twice before reaching for their smartphone at night. A new study found correlations between electronic media use at night and poor sperm quality. Source

Study evaluates immersive virtual reality as a sleep aid for teens

While teens are encouraged to turn off electronics before bedtime, a new study suggests that visiting a virtual environment may benefit their sleep health. Researchers evaluated the efficacy of a novel intervention based on virtual reality and slow breathing to promote bedtime relaxation and sleep in high school students. Source

Long naps may be bad for health

Many believe that lying down for a snooze is a harmless activity. But in newly presented research, scientists show that drifting off for more than one hour could be risky. Source

New study suggests ADHD- like behavior helps spur entrepreneurial activity

Many people have experienced a few nights of bad sleep that resulted in shifting attention spans, impulsive tendencies and hyperactivity the next day — all behaviors resembling ADHD. A new study found that this dynamic may also be linked to increased entrepreneurial behavior. Source

Meditation-relaxation therapy may offer escape from the terror of sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis — a condition thought to explain a number of mysterious experiences including alleged cases of alien abduction and demonic night-time visits — could be treated using a technique of meditation-relaxation, suggests a pilot study published today. Source

Brain noise contains unique signature of dream sleep

Dream or REM sleep is distinguished by rapid eye movement and absence of muscle tone, but electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings are indistinguishable from those of an awake brain. Neuroscientists have now found an EEG signature of REM sleep, allowing scientists for the first time to distinguish dreaming from wakefulness through brain activity alone. This could help in determining the prognosis for coma patients, and allow study of the impact of anesthesia on dreaming. Source

REM sleep tunes eating behavior

Despite our broad understanding of the different brain regions activated during rapid-eye-movement sleep, little is known about what this activity serves for. Researchers have now discovered that the activation of neurons in the hypothalamus during REM sleep regulates eating behavior: suppressing this activity in mice decreases appetite. Source

Child sleep problems associated with impaired academic and psychosocial functioning

A new study has found that sleep disturbances at any age are associated with diminished well-being by the time the children are 10 or 11 years old. The findings suggest health care providers should screen children for sleep problems at every age and intervene early when a sleep problem is identified. Source

Mapping the brain’s sensory gatekeeper

Researchers have mapped the thalamic reticular nucleus in unprecedented detail, revealing that the region contains two distinct subnetworks of neurons with different functions. The findings could offer researchers much more specific targets for designing drugs that could alleviate attention deficits, sleep disruption, and sensory hypersensitivity. Source

Poor sleep at night ‘spills over’ into children’s emotional lives

Poor sleep harms children’s mental health and emotional stability according to a new study. Source