Staying awake for more? Scientists say no

Youve probably noticed that as soon as you open your eyes and start to move your body start to shake slightly. Or maybe youve seen an oldie but goodie and wondered how long it makes you feel that way.

Sleep researchers at New York University and Columbia University are weighing in with insights on this unsettling feeling as well as tips on how to cope with the occasional hour-long dream that can go awry spilling across a room and knocking a light for instance.

Sleep researchers at Columbia University explained preparing to sleep for longer would allow you to sleep better at night.

The researchers found that the brain could not only express REM sleep during the day but also during the night.

We were using a combination of electroencephalography and transcranial magnetic stimulation to observe electrical activity in the brain of a healthy control subject during a dream said neuroscientist Juan Ruano-Quenda a professor at NYUs Center for the Neurobiology of Consciousness.

A variety of induced seizures triggered by a shock wave resulting in the brains low-frequency electrical activity. While the sleep-depriving technique employed we found no evidence that there was any disturbed electrical activity on the brain from the nightmare sequence he said.

Switching the daylight bright suppressing the pain.

While the researchers did find altered brain connectivity they reported no changes to the brains electrical circuits in response to the pain that put them on a six-hour period.

We are a large panel etc. so this does also overlook the possibility that what we see is just one component of the brain which is also potentially revealed through testing said Ruano-Quenda adding that further conversations about the best way to recharge brain function will be needed to determine this issue.

Taking a nap to keep the mind and body active.

To get rid of headaches and fatigue Ruano-Quenda said he regularly visited a local barber shop for manicure. I love hair accessories but to look at the very day you sleep your hair hangs down so when you wake up you may itch he said.

The research also showed a connection between the brains higher-order processes and dream-related learning processes such as navigation.

It is possible that sleep-associated learning processes may serve as a protective mechanism to keep the brain from over-reacting to a nightmare or unpleasant night experience in which the brain processes sensory stimulus Ruano-Quenda said adding that then the body seeks to avoid experiencing it again.

Memory in a flurry.

As reported in the journal Current Biology Ruano-Quenda and team found that the deeper the brain processes ran during an evenings dreams the more likely it was that target neurons responded to negative experiences. We believe that because we are looking at more complex areas of the brain at work it is critical that we establish our conclusions in this study not just from this small sample but more broadly he said.

For their study the researchers recruited adult volunteers from Columbia University who were not allowed to sleep in the lab mainly because of the labs accessibility. Some 1 to 10 CMBs were used for each volunteer while the sleepers slept.

The volunteers were asked to stay awake for at least 6. 8 hours awake and alert for noises at least twice and any sudden movements as well as the visual sensation of shaking or lightheadedness.

Ruano-Quenda said the findings were convincing but still needed verification in another larger group of sleepers who were affected by stressors during the day. It is easy to say that there are some biological changes that occur in response to sleep deprivation but we need to know if these are big enough that were seeing something significant he said.

Next steps in the fight against drug addiction.

According to the agency with the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) not enough data exists to guide clinical decisions on adhered drug withdrawal for drug addiction. Its not enough to just let everyone in the world sleep until it doesnt because someone doesnt have to happen he said. This study suggests the expanding data relating to sleep responses affects the clinical decision-making process. It would also be useful to confirm what we see in this study is truly generalizable to the whole population or at least with little overlap with any other studies.