Book Notes #8: Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams
March 13, 2021
Never thought I’d be reading and enjoying a book about sleeping. Insightful, and oddly entertaining. And yes, I do get the irony of reading a book about sleep after going through some books on coffee 🤷🏽♂️
A 5-star rating on my GoodReads.
Here are my highlights:
- (On different types of body cycles) If I were to keep you awake all night, your core temperature would still show the same pattern.
- (…) melatonin helps regulate the timing of when sleep occurs by systematically signaling darkness throughout the organism. But melatonin has little influence on the generation of sleep itself.
- For every day you are in a different time zone your suprachiasmatic nucleus can only readjust by about one hour.
- The longer you are awake, the more adenosine will accumulate.
- You can artificially mute sleep signal of adenosine by using a chemical that makes you fee more awake: caffeine.
- Individuals who are deliberately fasting will sleep less as the brain is tricked into thinking that food has suddenly become scarce.
- (…) migrating birds will grab brief periods of seep lasting only seconds in duration.
- (…) NREM sleep helps transfer and make safe newly learned information into long-term storage sites on the brain.
- REM sleep can (help define what) a collection of information mean as a whole, not just as facts. We can awake the next morning with new solutions to previously intractable problems or even be infused with radically new and original ideas.
- Sleep is not the absence of wakefulness.
- (…) the more sleep spindles an individual has at night, the greater the restoration of overnight learning ability come the next day.
- The second benefit of sleep for memory comes after learning (…), consolidation.
- (…) emotional regions of the brain are up to 30% more active in REM sleep compared to when we are awake.
- (…) REM sleep is the only time during the twenty-four hour period when your brain is completely devoid of this anxiety-triggering molecule (noradrenaline).
- (…) REM sleep dreaming accomplishes 2 critical goals: remember (…) and forget.
- (…) alcohool will often suppress REM sleep, specially during the first half of the night.
- (On alarm clocks) The snooze feature means that you will repeatedly impose a cardiovascular spike again and again within a short span of time.
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