We all know the saying ‘The early bird catches the worm’. But are there any real benefits to being a morning person? What determines whether you’re an early bird or a night owl anyway? And can night owls become early risers if they want to? Tick tock Your body has an internal clock. It’s located in the base of your brain, in the hypothalamus. You’ve probably heard the term circadian rhythm: this is the natural […]
Known as the Transylvania Effect, many people believe a full moon triggers strange behaviour. Crime rates, psychiatric hospital admissions, emergency room visits, dog bites and hyperactivity in kids are all said to increase during a full moon. Is there any truth to the rumours? Bad moon rising We can thank the Roman goddess of the moon, Luna, for the words lunatic and lunacy. Why the link between the moon and erratic behaviour? Aristotle and Pliny […]
Do you like coffee? Do you like naps? If you answered yes to both of those questions, you’re going to like what’s coming next. Research shows that combining the two – a coffee nap – is even better than each on its own. Coffee, glorious coffee There’s plenty of evidence for the health benefits of coffee (unless, like me, you’re allergic to caffeine!). Among other positive effects, drinking coffee may protect you against some nasty […]
We’ve all heard ‘Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’. But what evidence did Benjamin Franklin have when he said it? Is it true the hours of sleep you get before, rather than after, midnight contribute more to your health and wellbeing? Nighty night, sleep tight Most parents I know prioritise getting their kids to bed early. We all know only too well how kids fare if they’re short […]
If you could control your dreams, what would you do? Many of us do have some control over our dreams. It’s called lucid dreaming and if you can’t already do it, you may be able to learn how.
It’s late, you’re exhausted, and you’re craving chips. Most of us have experienced midnight munchies, but what makes fatty, salty and sweet foods particularly appealing at night?
Pseudo-insomniacs are rare cases that complicate the classical rules of sleep science. While they perceive themselves to be awake all night, traditional lab tests show nothing other than completely normal sleep. ‘Pseudo-insomniacs’ have made scientists take a closer look at the sleeping brain, but the science of sleep is still far from being completely understood.
It’s late. Really late. And you need to be up early. You’re tossing and turning. The later is gets the more stressed you feel. How are you going to get through the next day so sleep deprived? What if I told you all you need is to <em>believe</em> you got enough sleep?
A couple of weeks ago I asked students in one of my classes whether they were early risers or night owls. Almost all identified as one or the other. But is either being up at dawn or burning the midnight oil simply habit, or is something else going on?