Sleeping beauty

“What are your strategies for resilience?”

That was one of several prompts for discussion between the young women of Bankstown Girls High School and their mentors at the recent ABCN Empower program that I was part of.

The answer that resonated me was “sleep”. I was reminded that my own sleep habits have changed substantially over the last year, thanks to the time saved on commuting.  I’ve slept much better than in the last decade.

While much of the discussion I’m reading about “returning to work” revolves around the pros & cons of human interaction, I’ve not (yet) come across much on the impacts on sleep, & its second-order effects.

Sleep and the teenage brain [Article]

David K Randall’s book, Dreamland, explains how a seemingly change can have a profound effect on everything from academic performance to bullying.

Studies of teenagers around the globe have found that adolescent brains do not start releasing melatonin until around eleven o’clock at night and keep pumping out the hormone well past sunrise. 

Sleep in your genes [Article]

How much sleep do you need? Depends on your genes, claim a group of geneticists from University of California.

In 2009, a team led by geneticist Ying-Hui Fu at the University of California San Francisco discovered a mother and daughter who went to bed very late, yet were up bright and early every morning. Even when they had the chance to have a lie-in at the weekend (a tell-tale sign that you are sleep-deprived) they didn’t take it. Tests revealed that both mother and daughter carried a mutation of a gene called hDEC2. When the researchers tweaked the same gene in mice and in flies, they found that they also began to sleep less 

Edison on ‘light’ sleeping to success [Article]

Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, & that meant the end of the sleep habits of the people of the time. He apparently regarded sleep as a waste of time, & used to brag about not needing more than 4-5 hours of sleep each night. Maria Popova discovers his secret: power naps during the day.