Bedside Reading: 6-15-2018

June 15, 2018

Bedside Reading: 6-15-2018

As we head into the weekend, take some time to relax, refresh, and catch up on the most interesting new sleep-related reads of the week. We hope you continue enjoy this weekly roundup!

Surprising findings:

The purpose of REM, or Rapid Eye Movement, sleep continues to inspire explanations. One new one is that it periodically warms the brain, which cools due to decreased blood circulation during phases of deeper sleep. Carl Zimmer reports for the New York Times on a study of fur seals, which can sleep both on land and in the water but only experience REM sleep on land.

Another study from the University of Texas at San Antonio suggests that following a religion can lead to better quality sleep, perhaps because belief in higher power reduces worry and anxiety. Scottie Andrew gives a basic rundown for Newsweek, and you can find a more detailed analysis at EurekAlert

If religious practice may decrease stress and sleep problems, John Brandon reports for Inc. that keeping a phone next to your bed can increase them. Perhaps this may be one reason that students at Eton responded positively to a new “mobile curfew” (instead of protesting, as the school’s administrators had feared). 

Georgia Frances King contributed a fantastic pair of articles to Quarz based on her interview with sleep scientist Daniel Gartenberg of Penn State University. Among other things, they discuss why we sometimes feel groggy upon waking, polyphasic sleep regimens, and why Gartenberg thinks of sleep “like the new worker’s rights.”

Sleeping Better:

With the kickoff of the World Cup this week, attention is turning to how improved sleep can lead to a win. Writing for WIRED online, Eric Niiler asks “Can PJs and Sound Sleep Lead to a World Cup Victory?”

If you’re of a more artistic persuasion, you might be interested in checking out a new addition to the Calm meditation app’s “Sleep Stories”: recordings of Bob Ross’s The Joy of Painting. As Joan Kowalski, President of Bob Ross Inc., explains with regards to this first-ever licensing of the show’s audio tracks, “People back in the day were shy to tell him they fell asleep listening to him. They thought it would insult him. He loved it.”

Happy Father's Day!:

And finally, this Sunday we celebrate the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of being a dad. If you happen to have kiddos yourself, you might find Dr. Daniel Lewin’s recommendations for helping your children ease into summer sleeping. And don’t neglect your own sleep! Dr. Rubin Naiman offered some good advice on the Huffington Post a few years ago.

And if your kiddos aren’t sleeping that soundly, you might as well find some comic relief. Check out these oldies but goodies by Mike Rothschild at Or if you need some inspiration for making it through the late nights, see Geoff Williams’s tribute to dusk-to-dawn dad-duty at

Have a great weekend, a Happy Father's Day, and pleasant dreams!

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