For questions pertaining to the physiology and pathophysiology of sleep in humans and animals (e.g., sleep stages and their EEG patterns, sleep disturbances), along with psychological effects of sleep deprivation or fatigue.

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What is sleeplessness, and how is it different from being awake and being asleep?

I had a very bad night tonight. I went to bed extremely tired, but could not sleep. Unfinished business and other worries were circling in my mind. After what felt like maybe twenty minutes of tossing ...
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1answer
86 views

Does the brain need more sleep after heavy load?

Does the brain require more sleep in the following night, if you have used a lot more of its capacity that day than usually?
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99 views

How to work on a research problem while sleeping?

Put it more formally, how to let your mind subconsciously work on a research problem when you are not actively thinking about it, e.g., during sleep, dinner, walking, or shower? Often I hear stories ...
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1answer
62 views

How long do dreams last?

What is the relationship between time perceived in a dream and time in the external world? Is time running in dreams always faster than the time running in the real world? Is it ratio of real time ...
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57 views

Why is it easier to fall asleep in the dark?

I'm curious if there is any neurological mechanism that explains why falling asleep is easier in the dark. I recognize that this isn't true universally -- a phobia of darkness might make it easier to ...
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2answers
77 views

Is there a way to make oneself more sleepy?

Background motivation: Is there is a way to correct sleeping patterns to go to bed at least at midnight, not later than that? If I do not feel tired/sleepy enough, can I "prime" or "cheat" myself to ...
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1answer
48 views

Is sleep time related to any other characteristic?

Some people say that smart people sleep less, other say that smart people sleep more. I also heard that Napoleon used to sleep 4h/day. Is sleep-time related to any other characteristics like ...
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76 views

Is there a correlation between brain size and amount of sleep?

As far as we know, sleep seems to be the part of the daily cycle when executive functions are resting and memories are fortifying. Many, but not all, of the functions that become dysfunctional upon ...
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1answer
33 views

Why past events reappear in dreams after a certain delay?

I know that Freud in his "Interpretation of dreams" provides a number of examples of events influencing dreams several days to several months after the event has occurred. For example, a person sees a ...
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54 views

What brain regions are activated when a dream is remembered?

Some people remember dreams, others don't. The same person can wake up with dream recall one day and without on other days. I know that the association between REM sleep and dreaming was initially ...
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167 views

Is it true that drinking water before bed causes dreams to be more vivid?

Pavan Teja says on Psychtronics: Drink a lot of water. The more water you drink before bed, the more vivid your dreams. Is this true? Is this because I'm more alert not to, you know, and ...
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36 views

Can split-brain patients sleep like whales?

Regular split-brain patients still have some remaining connection between the hemispheres, but would it be possible for their hemispheres to fall asleep independent of the other? What about when not ...
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3answers
139 views

Is it possible to induce the processes that occur during sleep such as memory “garbage collection” without sleeping?

Background: Some time ago I opened a question comparing drug widrawal and sleep deprivation symphtoms: -What is the difference between drug withdrawal and sleep deprivation effects? In fact, my ...
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1answer
141 views

How does the body experience free-fall during a hypnic jerk

Today I learned that a sudden jerk that you sometimes experience when you are just about to fall asleep due to a sense of free-fall or weightlessness is called a hypnic jerk. If, while sleeping, I ...
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0answers
44 views

Is there difference between a memory of a dream and memory of waking experience?

I'm very interested in dreaming and have pretty good dream recall. This makes me able to recall and distinguish hundreds of experience within my memory and label them as "dreams". I'm trying to ...
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1answer
26 views

Is there an easy way to tell whether I woke up during REM or non-REM sleep?

I wake up during the night. Is there an easy way to tell whether I've woken up during REM or non-REM sleep? One way could be to look up the time, calculate how long I've slept and then take into ...
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2answers
235 views

Is there a scientific term for when you fall asleep because you can't handle something?

I'm wondering if there is a scientific term that describes when you fall asleep or pass out after some traumatic event? This effect happens when people witness something gruesome (a friend being ...
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1answer
278 views

Is it possible to sleep with your eyes open?

It is generally observed that animals and human alike close their eyes when they sleep. It looks seemingly natural. But I have heard (and might have observed one too, just not sure whether he was ...
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2k views

How is fasting related to insomnia?

Yesterday I started a new diet using intermittent fasting. For this reason I only ate one meal all day. I was pretty surprised how well I passed that day: I studied a lot, did some sports and ...
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32 views

Effect of mid-day sleep on mood and performance

Is there any clearly identifiable reason explaining why sleeping during the day (for longer than 30 minutes) could produce lowered mood, difficulty in concentrating, overall decreased cognitive ...
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2answers
143 views

Do you need sleep every night?

I haven't slept for a day, but feel fine. It is sometimes assumed that one needs 8 hours of sleep each night, but I think this is sometimes not true. Is it okay to get no sleep one night and then ...
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1answer
68 views

Is there a way to hasten recovery from sleep inertia?

Sleep inertia is a transitional state of lowered arousal occurring immediately after awakening from sleep and producing a temporary decrement in subsequent performance. (1) There is study ...
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39 views

If the brain didn't age, would we need to sleep?

Imagine that human scientists developed a cure for brain aging - you go through genetic modification and now your brain is packed with hyperactive antioxidant enzymes, and as a result your brain never ...
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22 views

When falling asleep does one always start with NREM1?

After my admittedly short research I could not find information which states that if a person is disturbed while their sleeping, let's say in NREM3 phase of their sleep cycle, and wakes up and then ...
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1answer
99 views

Waking around the same time without an alarm

Anecdotal background I find that regardless of what time I go to bed, or how exhausted I am, I always wake up the next morning between 5 and 6am. This is despite my alarm being consistently set for ...
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1answer
85 views

What is actually going on in your brain during a night terror?

I used to have really bad night terrors back in the day, where I would think I was floating and I would wake up and actually my vision would be very fuzzy - so I just want to know.. What is actually ...
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2answers
190 views

Are closed eye movements related to the content of dreams or the imagination?

During rem sleep there are observed eye movements, which seem like they would correlate with the person visualizing their dreams. Do their eye movements actually try to follow what they're dreaming ...
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1answer
178 views

What are the neurobiological triggers for sleepwalking?

This phenomena has always fascinated me, ever since my parents told me (and filmed me) doing exactly that - sleepwalking. I have read the pamphlet "Sleepwalking" from the Sleep Health Foundation, ...
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1answer
114 views

Why would a behaviour effect one sex?

After reading the article Regular sleeping hours really are good for children—if they are girls I started wondering what would be a good explanation for something such as sleep patterns have an affect ...
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1answer
94 views

How much additional sleep is required to recover from a given number of hours of sleep deprivation? [duplicate]

A previous question dealt with whether it is possible to catch up on lost sleep. This question is a little different. Assume that a healthy adult has been deprived of sleep for "x" hours. How much ...
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74 views

What is the effect of routine versus demand driven sleeping of babies on long term sleep habits?

Comparing two methods of child raising: Routines: When babies are raised in a framework of a timetable; duration of feeding and nap times are scheduled. Demands: Where babies are demand fed, they ...
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1answer
227 views

How effective are multiphasic sleep schedules?

Does multiphasic sleep work well enough that it can be used as a replacement for monophasic sleep? Has there been any research done on people that have used bi/polyphasic sleep for extended periods ...
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3answers
160 views

How to restore and maintain a healthy sleep pattern?

Background: Some people over holiday periods or weekends get into sleep patterns that involve waking up very late in the day (e.g., 1pm), and then going to bed quite late (e.g.,, 4am). Such people can ...
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1answer
50 views

Where to find historical dream activity data?

Is it just me, or are we dreaming less? Maybe it's the computer screens in our face all day. Maybe that's just what happens when we get older. I'm wondering if there's a resource of some kind to ...
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1answer
268 views

What is the difference between drug withdrawal and sleep deprivation effects?

Personal sleep-deprivation study: Recently, I posed a question that I'm sure many people find tough already: "Do I really need to sleep?", and so I tested myself, I spent two days without sleeping. ...
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1answer
128 views

Have there been any studies which report a positive correlation between eating certain foods and reported sleep disturbances?

This Skeptics question touched on the subject, but I'm more focused on studies that have been conducted under highly controlled circumstances, like a university sleep lab. We've all heard these old ...
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72 views

What is it about the nature of slow-wave sleep that makes it difficult to awaken the sleeper?

In humans, delta wave sleep ("slow wave" sleep, stages III and IV by AASM criteria) is more common in children and becomes only a small percentage of total sleep time in adults. Cortical EEG waves ...
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1answer
112 views

What is the mechanism behind unihemispheric sleep in animals?

It is known that dolphins have the ability to sleep with only one half of their brain at a time. According to this popular science source: Dolphins sleep by resting one half of their brain at a ...
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113 views

Do animals that sleep during the day have a different sleep architecture than those who sleep at night?

A typical hypnogram, delineating the sleep architecture for a (human) mammal looks like A distinct distribution of non-REM and REM sleep can be observed. Is this pattern of sleep cycles ...
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190 views

Does dream recall interfere with “reverse learning”? (Crick and Mitchison's theory of REM sleep)

I've recently became aware of the idea of "reverse learning" that might happen during REM sleep - the brain's attempt to eliminate pathological attractors that might appear in neural networks. The ...
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1answer
103 views

How do I change my tiredness patterns?

All of you probably know what the human 'circadian cycle' is, and depending on your personality, you would either be a night-owl or a morning-lark. I am interested in understanding the patterns of ...
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1answer
185 views

What defines the easiest time to get out of bed in the morning for humans?

I'm interested in sleep research, and sometimes in conversations with people the following idea gets discussed: "A person becomes aware at a certain time in the morning and feel great(while still in ...
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1answer
371 views

Is learning facts via audio while sleeping possible?

Is there a way to make onself remember facts from an audiobook (containing for instance a list of countries and their capitals) played out loud while sleeping?
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2answers
78 views
+100

What happens in the brain when conscious awareness is changed during dreaming onset?

I've long been interested in dreaming and there's a peculiar phenomenon of the very start of the dreaming process. Different people experience it differently, but even for the same person there's ...
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2answers
551 views

Devices that detect when someone is falling asleep

I'm wondering what types of devices exist that can detect how close someone is to falling asleep. I have heard of several devices that may be able to do this, but I haven't been able to find very ...
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2answers
184 views

What causes dreamers to accept dreams as reality?

I have long had interest in dreaming, and one of the defining features of ordinary dreams is that the dreamer either accepts the dream as "real life", or does not question the surroundings. Compare ...
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2answers
147 views

What is the sleep study that showed that a percentage of humans have a biological clock that is ~28 hours or greater?

There was an article published some years ago about a sleep study (I think from Germany) that showed about 10-20% of people (European's I think) are genetically predisposed to function on a 30-hour* ...
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1answer
474 views

What is the scientific term for unexpected, spontaneous dream recall?

I'm interested if there's a term for spontaneous dream recall. I will try to define the phenomenon I'm talking about. Over 10 years ago, I started to notice that I can spontaneously recall dreams, ...
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131 views

Can lucid dreaming detract from the recuperative effect of REM sleep?

Imagine you mastered lucid dreaming, so you have a lucid dream every night. You might want to use this phase to do creative work or problem solving. Would this have a negative influence on the ...
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1answer
205 views

How are people able to wake themselves up after a pre-specified amount of time?

Auto-suggestion seems to work. Several people I know seem to be able to tell themselves "I'll wake up after 'N' hours/minutes", and do so within a minute or two of that duration. I thought for a ...