Cognition by numbers

Here’s some numbers for you. In a study called Exercise for cognitive brain health in aging: A systematic review for an evaluation of dose, researchers performed what is called a meta-analysis of many studies on exercise and cognitive decline to see if they could determine a “dose” of exercise that is required to make a difference.  They […]

Sleep and cognition

It goes without saying that sleep is important.  Some people need more than others and the rare person can perform well mentally on low amounts of sleep routinely.  (I envy those people!) Recently, two articles looked at sleep and cognition.  The first was called Sleep and cognitive decline: A prospective nondemented elderly cohort study, and looked […]

An all-nighter is tough on the heart.

In a presentation at the Radiological Society of North America annual meeting in 2016, researchers from Germany presented study called Effects of 24-Hour-Shift Related Short Term Sleep Deprivation on Cardiac Function: A CMR Based Study in which they demonstrated the ill-effect on the heart caused by short-term sleep deprivation.  The study tried to replicate the effect of […]

Bright lights, big city insomnia.

When the environment gets darker at the end of the day, the brain is supposed to get a signal from the eyes to secret melatonin, the sleepy hormone.  What if you live in a city that never sleeps and the streetlights make it seem nearly daytime 24/7?  An interesting question that was looked at by […]

There’s no free lunch with sleeping pills.

A review journal I follow, Neurology Reviews, published a summary of a report at a recent sleep conference called What Are the Next-Morning Effects of Hypnotic Drugs?.  It outlines what I often tell my patients about sleeping pills.  There’s no free lunch. The report in question looked at a collection of studies on short-term memory, psychomotor […]

The sleep – depression link.

If you’re a parent of an infant that needs fed every couple hours, or a doctor on overnight call in a busy hospital you may understand sleep continuity disruption.  I’ve been both (though my devoted wife was usually the one up through the night with my hungry kiddo.) There is a clear association between insomnia […]

Wake up! Be smarter!

More sleep is better right?  Well, maybe up to a point. In an abstract presented at the recent Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, investigators recruited 512,000 subjects ranging in age from 15 to around 90 to see how cognitive performance related to sleep duration. The subjects were tested on 3 Lumosity games, […]

Sleep your way to a lower Alzheimer’s risk?

It is well-recognized that sleep is vitally important for many reasons.  Good sleep helps with the immune system, wound healing, and plays a role in consolidating memory.  Some researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center have discovered another potential critical function of sleep.  In the study titled:  Sleep drives metabolite clearance from the adult […]