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Frank Hovis

What Happens When We Sleep

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The article is about the effect of having more or less sleep, but it's what the brain's doing during sleep that I found most interesting. It took me ages to find it as I wrongly assumed it was in the Mail, that's known as the interestrateripoff effect.

The first thing she pointed out was that I had very rapidly fallen into a state of deep sleep. Deep sleep sounds restful, but during it our brains are actually working hard. One of the main things the brain is doing is moving memories from short-term storage into long-term storage, allowing us more short-term memory space for the next day. If you don't get adequate deep sleep then these memories will be lost.

You might think: "I'll cut back during the week and then make up for it at the weekend." Unfortunately it doesn't work like that, because memories need to be consolidated within 24 hours of being formed.

Deep sleep only lasts for a few hours. My electrode results showed that during the night my brain went through multiple phases of another kind of activity, called REM sleep.

"This is the phase when you are usually paralysed - so you can't move," Wulff explained. But the eye muscles are not paralysed, and that's why it's called rapid eye movement sleep."

During REM sleep an extraordinary thing happens. One of the stress-related chemicals in the brain, noradrenalin, is switched off. It's the only time, day or night, this happens. It allows us to remain calm while our brains reprocess all the experiences of the day, helping us come to terms with particularly emotional events.

We get more REM sleep in the last half of the night. Which means that if you are woken unexpectedly, your brain may not have dealt with all your emotions - which could leave you stressed and anxious. Drinking alcohol late at night is not a good idea as it reduces your REM sleep while it's being processed in your body.

What they discovered is that when the volunteers cut back from seven-and-a-half to six-and-a-half hours' sleep a night, genes that are associated with processes like inflammation, immune response and response to stress became more active. The team also saw increases in the activity of genes associated with diabetes and risk of cancer. The reverse happened when the volunteers added an hour of sleep.

So the clear message from this experiment was that if you are getting less than seven hours' sleep a night and can alter your sleep habits, even just a little bit, it could make you healthier. "Have a lie-in, it will do you good" - that's the kind of health message that doesn't come along very often.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24444634

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Brilliant.

I get great sleep during the week and not so great at the weekend due to my drunken stupor.

So i remember everything i need - and forget me being a drunken twit every weekend.

Ideal.

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Guest eight

Not sure about that bit about moving memories from one place to another. How could anybody possibly know that is what's going on?

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Guest eight

Brilliant.

I get great sleep during the week and not so great at the weekend due to my drunken stupor.

So i remember everything i need - and forget me being a drunken twit every weekend.

Ideal.

My daughter spends more than half her life asleep and her memory is frankly astounding, so there might be something in it.

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A lot of it is spot on for me. I have a great long-term memory but my short-term-memory, which was excellent, has seemed like it had holes in it this last couple of years which worried me greatly. Though I have become great at bluffing "You remember this?" "Of course!".

I've upped my sleep (not unconnected with massively reducing the booze) and it's come back.

The downside is that I now accept that frequent beer wrecks my short-term memory by interfering with my sleep and that's not a price I'm prepared to pay, so Fri and Sat only for me from now on (or sleep more by giving up work is another option - would be nice :) ). And that's only when my teetotal October has gone. Roll on FRIDAY November 1st B)

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It is pretty spot on for me.

I ended up having 2 student HMOs on either side of me for several years and my sleeping suffered dramatically and so did my health.

Since I have been renting in a very quiet area my health has improved considerably.

The whole storing and moving of 'data' makes us sound like computer programs with hard drives. Peace and quiet is the number one thing I want in a house. Hard to get in cra*py UK with cr*p built UK houses.

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My daughter spends more than half her life asleep and her memory is frankly astounding, so there might be something in it.

The shorter the time you are awake, the less that happens that you have to remember.

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The shorter the time you are awake, the less that happens that you have to remember.

It is all pointless isn't it. This life, this existence, trying to buy Royal Mail shares, chatting up women using bunches of grapes.

Probably best to have a kip.

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The shorter the time you are awake, the less that happens that you have to remember.

Very good point. You should be on the Krypton factor !!

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Not sure about that bit about moving memories from one place to another. How could anybody possibly know that is what's going on?

It does seem like long and short term memories are 'stored' in very different places.

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It does seem like long and short term memories are 'stored' in very different places.

Short term memory goes into RAM. All my long term memories have gone onto tape! :huh:

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It is all pointless isn't it. This life, this existence, trying to buy Royal Mail shares, chatting up women using bunches of grapes.

Probably best to have a kip.

As far as I can see sleep improves your memeory, takes away your stress for the next day, cuts down on diabetes and cancer risks, you're not getting fat as you're not eating, you're not smoking and even Gazza doesn't drink in his sleep.

The NHS should provide it on prescription.

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A lot of it is spot on for me. I have a great long-term memory but my short-term-memory, which was excellent, has seemed like it had holes in it this last couple of years which worried me greatly. Though I have become great at bluffing "You remember this?" "Of course!".

I've upped my sleep (not unconnected with massively reducing the booze) and it's come back.

The downside is that I now accept that frequent beer wrecks my short-term memory by interfering with my sleep and that's not a price I'm prepared to pay, so Fri and Sat only for me from now on (or sleep more by giving up work is another option - would be nice :) ). And that's only when my teetotal October has gone. Roll on FRIDAY November 1st B)

It's not just alcohol. Marijuana will make you go to sleep if you have enough and sleep seems extremely deep and highly nourishing, but it must interfere with deep sleep in so far as it's as if the part of the brain that "organises" memories gets suppressed so even short term memories simply vanish.

One effect of this is that you can watch a film that you think is new to you, and about three quarters of the way through you suddenly realise you have seen it before and you know how it ends ;)

Suspect that part of the brain/sleep cycle is highly sensitive to "foreign influences".

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One effect of this is that you can watch a film that you think is new to you, and about three quarters of the way through you suddenly realise you have seen it before and you know how it ends ;)

Also falling asleep at the start of a film and waking up 3/4 of the way does this. Especially the second time you watch it just like that.

I am awful at staying awake to watch a film.

And I remember actor's voices better than faces. Probably cos I watch films with my eyes shut.

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Also falling asleep at the start of a film and waking up 3/4 of the way does this. Especially the second time you watch it just like that.

I am awful at staying awake to watch a film.

And I remember actor's voices better than faces. Probably cos I watch films with my eyes shut.

I think I've identified the cause of your falling asleep problem there Sarah.

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Also falling asleep at the start of a film and waking up 3/4 of the way does this. Especially the second time you watch it just like that.

I am awful at staying awake to watch a film.

And I remember actor's voices better than faces. Probably cos I watch films with my eyes shut.

They must be crap films Sarah! Space Odyssey 2001 can get the Pin to sleep! I have never managed to watch it all the way though! Most people say it's a classic, but the Pin doesn't agree! The Pin would rather watch "Get Carter"! or "Thelma and Louise"! :huh:

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They must be crap films Sarah! Space Odyssey 2001 can get the Pin to sleep! I have never managed to watch it all the way though! Most people say it's a classic, but the Pin doesn't agree! The Pin would rather watch "Get Carter"! or "Thelma and Louise"! :huh:

All sorts of films make me fall asleep. Just suspect I can't sit still for that long without Zzzz

Managed to watch The adjustment bureau last night.

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They must be crap films Sarah! Space Odyssey 2001 can get the Pin to sleep! I have never managed to watch it all the way though! Most people say it's a classic, but the Pin doesn't agree! The Pin would rather watch "Get Carter"! or "Thelma and Louise"! :huh:

Ironically, I've never once managed to stay awake through Sleepless in Seattle.

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if you are woken unexpectedly, your brain may not have dealt with all your emotions - which could leave you stressed and anxious

That definitely happens to me. I've Googled around and found some others that are the same.

If I am tired and sleep during the day for an hour or so, or some mornings, when I wake up I am in a seriously foul mood for about 30mins. I mean bad! Like I have suicidal feelings and strong depressive thoughts that something is very wrong and I have to reassure myself I'm just tired.

After that, back to enjoying life :)

Somewhat related, I always enjoyed reading this article called Do Horses Gallop in Their Sleep?

Not saying it's right but it does make me think sleep is more serious that just memories if it actually kills you if you don't have it...and it really does kill you, not just make you forget stuff.

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That definitely happens to me. I've Googled around and found some others that are the same.

If I am tired and sleep during the day for an hour or so, or some mornings, when I wake up I am in a seriously foul mood for about 30mins. I mean bad! Like I have suicidal feelings and strong depressive thoughts that something is very wrong and I have to reassure myself I'm just tired.

After that, back to enjoying life :)

Yeah, I'm like that before the first whisky of the morning.

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Yeah, I'm like that before the first whisky of the morning.

I imagine that is about 07:00 hours! :huh:

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It's not just alcohol. Marijuana will make you go to sleep if you have enough and sleep seems extremely deep and highly nourishing, but it must interfere with deep sleep in so far as it's as if the part of the brain that "organises" memories gets suppressed so even short term memories simply vanish.

One effect of this is that you can watch a film that you think is new to you, and about three quarters of the way through you suddenly realise you have seen it before and you know how it ends ;)

Suspect that part of the brain/sleep cycle is highly sensitive to "foreign influences".

So you don't think I could get away with saying to the missus 'It's because I didn't get enough sleep' when she blames me not being able to remember watching a film due to my inebriated state?

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It's not just alcohol. Marijuana will make you go to sleep if you have enough and sleep seems extremely deep and highly nourishing, but it must interfere with deep sleep in so far as it's as if the part of the brain that "organises" memories gets suppressed so even short term memories simply vanish.

One effect of this is that you can watch a film that you think is new to you, and about three quarters of the way through you suddenly realise you have seen it before and you know how it ends ;)

Suspect that part of the brain/sleep cycle is highly sensitive to "foreign influences".

So you don't think I could get away with saying to the missus 'It's because I didn't get enough sleep' when she blames me not being able to remember watching a film due to my inebriated state?

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Not sure about that bit about moving memories from one place to another. How could anybody possibly know that is what's going on?

I know!

Um hang on, I've forgotten.

:(

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