Melatonin: An Old Hormone with New Tricks
Did You Know? / Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders / Sleep

Melatonin: An Old Hormone with New Tricks

Melatonin: you’ve undoubtedly seen it in the supplement aisle at the drugstore…that natural sleep remedy your aunt recommended once, sounding vaguely like a portmanteau of mellow and serotonin.  But between the occasional internet medical forum and your would-be pharmacist aunt, how much do you really know about this sandman hormone? Melatonin is an ancient, multipurpose … Continue reading

Screensavers of the Brain: The Science of Dreaming
Did You Know? / Sleep

Screensavers of the Brain: The Science of Dreaming

Each night, you place your head on your pillow, close your eyes, and, barring insomnia, you lose consciousness of the world around you, drifting into blissful oblivion.  Eventually, you reawaken, only to hallucinate in a paralyzed body.  These hallucinations are called dreams.  Why do dreams happen, and what function do they serve?  Although these are … Continue reading

Messing with the ‘Flip-Flop’ Switch: Why Getting Sick Makes You Sleepy
Did You Know? / Sleep

Messing with the ‘Flip-Flop’ Switch: Why Getting Sick Makes You Sleepy

We all know how it feels to be sick.  The fatigue, increased sleep, and general malaise that accompany a cold are the primary reasons people stay bedridden when ill.  Even in ~350 BC, Aristotle wrote On Sleep and Waking and documented that the basic human experience of fever was accompanied by feelings of lethargy and … Continue reading

Sleep ‘til you’re Hungry. Eat ‘til you’re Sleepy.
Neuro News / Sensation and Perception / Sleep

Sleep ‘til you’re Hungry. Eat ‘til you’re Sleepy.

Have you ever tried to go to sleep hungry?  Believe me, it doesn’t work.  You just end up lying in bed, listening to your stomach growl, and dreaming about your favorite foods.  Have you ever experienced a “food coma?”  Think back to last Thanksgiving when you ate so much that all you wanted to do … Continue reading

Sweet Dreams or Amyloid Nightmares
Aging / Did You Know? / Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders / Sleep

Sweet Dreams or Amyloid Nightmares

Sleep deprivation has become a badge of honor in our modern society.  Competitions break out in coffee shop lines over who is functioning on the least number of Zzzzzs and living the most fast-paced life.  Bragging rights come with ordering the eye-opener with a triple shot of espresso.  Close our eyes and we risk missing … Continue reading

From Turkey Comas To New Disease Treatments
Neuro News / Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders / Sleep

From Turkey Comas To New Disease Treatments

Neurodegenerative disorders, like Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s disease, are devastating.  As you can imagine, witnessing the slow and progressive loss of a loved one’s mental and emotional states is an extremely painful and heartbreaking experience.  Currently, there are no cures for neurodegenerative diseases, and the drugs that are available only alleviate symptoms, without slowing the progression … Continue reading