July 15, 2018
We hope you’re enjoying a relaxing and restful weekend! Take a minute to catch up on the most interesting new sleep-related reads of the week. We hope you continue enjoy this weekly roundup!
This week’s news in sleep research was dominated by three main stories. First, Robert Adams of the University of Adelaide in Australia led a study that found that up to a third of Australian adults suffer from what he termed “social jet-lag.” This phenomenon results when a person’s bodily clock and sleep needs are out of sync with their social obligations, including work commitments. Suffers had a greater tendency to arrive late for work and to go to work while sick, suggesting the productivity implications of the condition; they also tended to use electronic devices more in the time just before going to bed at night. The Guardian article linked above has a great summary of Adams' finding, which were also covered in the Sydney Morning Herald, Business Insider, and Marie Claire.
Another study out of Australia, led by Leah Ruppanner, found that both men and women sleep better in countries with higher gender equality. According to the study, which was also covered in the Independent and Men’s Health, men and women tend to be kept awake by different types of concerns: women’s sleep was more often interrupted by household and childcare duties, while men’s sleep was more likely to fall victim to worries about work and household finances. The authors found that in societies where there was a more equal distribution of both types of labor between partners, both sexes reported less disrupted sleep.
Finally, new research from Columbia University in New York suggests that sleep may itself be an antioxidant. Researchers found that short-sleeping fruit flies were more vulnerable to acute oxidative stress, while sleep tended to mitigate these vulnerabilities. Their findings suggest that oxidative stress may drive sleep regulation in animals, including humans, providing a reason that sleep has persevered as a crucial behavior underlying good health.
If you’d like a primer course in how sleep is regulated and why we need it, two great articles came out this week. The first, from the South African College of Applied Psychology, explains in plain language how the circadian rhythm regulates sleep for all forms of life. And at Time, Markham Heid investigates whether our need for sleep decreases as we age (or if it’s just our ability to sleep well that decreases).
There’s no question that adequate sleep plays a vital role in safety, especially on the road. David Nield presents new findings that a car’s vibrations may themselves increase drowsiness while driving or riding. And Brianna Steinhilber discusses “How to tell if you’re too tired to drive—and what to do if you are” for NBC News.
Finally, we touched last week on the increasing popularity of napping, and how more and more businesses are trying to capitalize on this trend. This week saw the opening of Casper’s new New York City nap lounge, The Dreamery. Casper’s COO and founder, Neil Parikh, described the lounge’s mission as “making sleep and rest a part of our regular wellness routines—similar to how many people prioritize a workout class.” New Yorkers can pop in for a 45 minute nap session in one of nine soundproof napping pods outfitted with Casper mattresses, complimentary pyjamas, beverages, and supplies for freshening up post-nap. See PopSugar’s slideshow for photos of the, well, dreamy surroundings at this new New York sleep outpost.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and have a restful and refreshed week! Pleasant dreams!
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