⏰ Hitting Snooze Actually Helps Your Sleep
A new study finds snoozing doesn't ruin your sleep like we thought
⏰ Snoozing Won’t Ruin Sleep, Study Says
Concerned about your habit of hitting the snooze button in the morning?
A recent study offers reassurance: Snoozing doesn't seem to negatively affect sleep quality for most people. In fact, for some, those precious extra minutes can enhance alertness more rapidly than continuous sleep.
The study, published in the Journal of Sleep Research, indicates that snoozing for 30 minutes in the morning doesn't make you groggier or disrupt deep sleep. In fact, it might be beneficial for those who regularly snooze.
Among the 1,732 adults surveyed about their morning habits, 69% admitted to hitting the snooze button, particularly on weekdays. A majority (60%) reported falling back asleep between alarms, resulting in slightly less overall sleep.
Snoozers were typically six years younger than non-snoozers and more likely to be "night owls." They were also three times more likely to wake up feeling drowsy.
The top reasons for snoozing were difficulty waking up or feeling too tired. Some snoozers found it enjoyable or appreciated the gentler wake-up.
A more controlled experiment involved 31 participants with a snooze habit. They were asked to either get up immediately or snooze for 30 minutes on different nights, with the total time in bed remaining the same.
Snoozing led to six minutes less sleep on average, but the sleep structure remained unchanged. Cognitive tests immediately after waking favored snoozing, but this advantage disappeared within 40 minutes.
Dr. Marie-Pierre St-Onge of Columbia University's Center of Excellence for Sleep and Circadian Research suggests that snoozing may offer a gentler awakening, as it allows individuals to fall back to sleep between alarms lightly.
The study focused on confirmed snoozers, and exploring non-snoozers in the future may be interesting. Dr. Beth Malow from Vanderbilt University Medical Center notes that waking up in stages may help avoid abrupt transitions from REM sleep, which can be jolting.
👂 Earbuds to Monitor Your Health
Imagine if a pair of sensor stickers could transform your earbuds into a cutting-edge health monitor capable of detecting brain or mood disorders and even providing real-time treatment through sounds or electrical pulses.
Engineers at the University of California, San Diego, are pioneering this concept by developing ultra-compact, flexible sensors that adhere to earbuds. These sensors can record electrical brain activity and lactate levels in sweat, offering a promising avenue for monitoring and treating conditions.
In a study published in NatureBiomedical Engineering, the sensors proved to be as effective as traditional monitoring methods, such as EEG headsets for brain activity and blood samples for lactate levels.
This technology can potentially address brain-related diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and epilepsy, as well as mood disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. It can also be utilized to detect and treat conditions like strokes, tinnitus, sleep apnea, and traumatic brain injuries.
One of the remarkable aspects of in-ear wearables is their potential for remote patient monitoring. For example, patients being tested for epilepsy could wear these sensors continuously, even during sleep, allowing for the remote detection of seizures.
For patients with tinnitus, the device could continuously monitor the condition and experiment with various sounds, playing those that alleviate tinnitus symptoms. Similarly, it could treat sleep disorders, cognitive decline, panic attacks, or chronic pain by delivering tailored therapies like music, deep-breathing instructions, positive affirmations, or electrical stimulation and adapting treatment based on real-time responses.
While this technology holds immense promise, it will likely take several years of testing and regulatory approval before it becomes available for clinical use.
🧠 New Research Links Serotonin to Long COVID
A recent study conducted at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has shed light on the potential connection between long COVID and decreased levels of circulating serotonin.
According to the researchers, this decrease in serotonin could be a key factor in the neurological, cognitive, and memory symptoms often associated with long COVID.
Published in the journal Cell, this study explores the biological changes that occur in individuals with long COVID and offers new avenues for treatment development.
To conduct their investigation, the scientists analyzed the blood of 58 individuals with long COVID who had been experiencing symptoms for a period ranging from three months to 22 months after their initial infection.
These results were then compared to blood samples from 30 people who had recovered from COVID without experiencing any post-COVID symptoms and 60 individuals in the early stages of infection.
Maayan Levy, PhD, a lead author and an assistant professor of microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine, explained that serotonin and other metabolites typically undergo changes shortly after infection. Serotonin was the only "significant molecule that did not recover to pre-infection levels" in individuals with long COVID.
The research could serve as a unifying biological pathway that bridges various theories regarding the underlying causes of long COVID-19. These theories encompass lingering viral remnants, inflammation, increased blood clotting, and autonomic nervous system dysfunction.
It's important to note that the study's small sample size means that the results are preliminary and require further validation. However, this research represents a significant step towards understanding the complexities of long COVID and offers hope for potential treatments in the future.
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