Psychology Magazine

New Work on How and Why We Sleep.

By Deric Bownds @DericBownds
The fact that I'm finding the quality of my sleep to be central to my robustness and well-being makes me want to pass on descriptions of four pieces of work described in recent issues of Science Magazine, work showing housekeeping changes in our brains happening while we sleep, changes whose disruption by sleep deprivation has debilitating consequences. Fultz et al. show that deep sleep drives brain fluid oscillations that may facilitate communication between fluid compartments and clearance of waste products. Todorova and Zugaro show that spikes during delta waves of sleep (widespread cortical silence) support memory consolidation. Brüning et al. find in the mouse brain that half of the 2000 synaptic phosphoproteins quantified show changes with daily activity-rest cycles. Sleep deprivation abolishes nearly all (98%) of these phosphorylation cycles at synapses. Noya et al. find a sleep-wake cycle in which transcripts and proteins associated with synaptic signaling accumulate before the active phase (dusk for nocturnal mice), whereas messenger RNAs and proteins associated with metabolism and translation accumulate before the resting phase.

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