Photographer Sid Vedula captured this amazing view of the full moon of Aug. 1, 2012, from Houston, TX, with a passing airplane in silhouette.
Credit: Sid Vedula

This is a call out to everyone that participated in the sleeping test that was mentioned a few days ago. So, did you find yourself sleeping better with Airplane Mode turned on? I know I have. Last night I left my phone connected to the rest of the world and didn’t wake up feeling as refreshed. I could actually be a little biased, expecting to wake up not feeling as refreshed because I believe that Airplane Mode helps. Potentially an issue when anyone surveys themselves.

I am voting yes, what about you? I would like to ask that only the people who decided to be a part of this little test vote.; unless this is something you have tried before, or if you already do this because you have found that it helps you get a better night sleep. In a couple of days I will publish the results to everyone and discuss why sleep is so important in our lives.

The reason for doing small studies such as this, is they pave the way for larger, more serious studies. About two weeks ago, a study was published in The Journal of Neuroscience, delving into chronic sleep deprivation in mice. The idea was to put mice under the same conditions that shift workers, students and truck drivers put themselves through – not getting enough sleep and then catching up on their “sleep debt”. The study showed damage can be done regardless of whether we catch up on that “sleep debt” or not.

The results were quite alarming, illustrating how chronic sleep deprivation killed up to as much as 25% of neurons in certain parts of the brains of mice. The researchers did make the point that there is no evidence to show that what happens in mice brains will happen in human brains. What the researchers do want to do is conduct autopsies on the brains of shift workers to determine whether the same “brain damage” has happened to them.

Even though this study is focused on mice, it does give all of us something to think about. A myriad of other studies, years of research, all point to the fact that getting a good nights sleep is important to a long and healthy life.


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