tagged w/ Sleep Deprivation
When deprived of sleep, parts of the human brain may doze off, secretly snatching moments of slumber even as people seem to be awake.
That could explain why our sleep-deprived selves are so cognitively challenged: We are, if not precisely half-asleep, partially asleep.
“After a long period in an awake state, cortical neurons can go briefly ‘offline,’” wrote researchers led by University of Wisconsin neuroscientists Vladyslav Vyazovskiy and Giulio Tononi in a study published April 27 in Nature. “Although both EEG and behavior indicate wakefulness, local populations of neurons in the cortex may be falling asleep, with negative consequences for performance.”
To study rats’ neurology, Tononi’s team wired their brains to an EEG machine, kept them awake longer than usual, and looked for patterns in readouts of their brains’ electrical activity.
They found that scattered neurons throughout the rats’ brains gradually alternated between periods of activity and inactivity — a pattern associated with deep sleep, not wakefulness. But unlike their synchronization during sleep, these oscillations were brief and disjointed.
‘The ability to control behavior actively with some neural circuits while others may be idling could be evolutionarily advantageous.’
When the researchers tested the rats in a sugar-pellet-reaching task, performance declined in proportion to their neurons’ “offline” status, suggestive of how sleep-deprived people have trouble functioning.
In a commentary accompanying the findings, University of California, Los Angeles, neuroscientist Christopher Colwell wrote that this piecemeal, neuron-by-neuron descent into sleep squared with other research observations.
Sleepwalkers, for example, seem to inhabit “a twilight state between sleep and wakefulness,” wrote Colwell. Many animals also alternate between shutting down their brains’ left and right hemispheres, allowing for rest while maintaining vigilance.
“These observations also suggest that single neurons can move into a rest state,” wrote Colwell. “The ability to control behavior actively with some neural circuits while others may be idling could be evolutionarily advantageous.”
However, Colwell cautioned against assuming that the patterns seen by Tononi in rats are responsible for short-of-sleep human grouchiness, distraction and poor judgment. For now that’s “arguably an intellectual stretch,” he wrote — but the the data supports further investigations.
“And although it is only anecdotal evidence,” Colwell concluded, “I could swear that some of my students can sleep with their eyes wide open.”
When deprived of... more
Doctors have to take decisions under stress, though not apparent.
A doctor when performing his first surgery /first case will tell you that.
Over a period of time and practice, the stress is not visible;but it remains underneath.
A doctor is also a human being with his share of problems professionally and personally.
Fair percentage of Doctors work longer hours either because of their commitment or for financial reasons.
http://ramanan50.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/doctors-need-sleep/Doctors have to take decisions under stress, though not apparent.
A doctor when... more
Even though there are over 80 types of sleep disorders, these are the most profoundly scary sleep problems that can affect any age group, and certainly, they can be disruptive to one’s sleep and health. These “dream-like” sleep problems may be as spooky as the horror films that you are afraid of.Even though there are over 80 types of sleep disorders, these are the most profoundly... more
Sleep disorders include many types of sleep problems, from insomnia to narcolepsy, affecting many people worldwide. It is difficult to believe they exist, especially in this civilized world.Sleep disorders include many types of sleep problems, from insomnia to narcolepsy,... more
While these sleep syndromes may be mysterious they do exist around us. There is no “if” or “but” and definitely no doubting that these sleep disorders are linked to unexplainably weird syndromes.While these sleep syndromes may be mysterious they do exist around us. There is no... more