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Queen Mab To sleep perchance to dream

#1 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 01:40

How much sleep is good for your cognition?
I once made a recording from a single neuron in the brainstem and discovered that its dendrites sampled the fluid on the surface of the brain. I thought that was pretty cool and published it in 1993 in a Journal called Sleep. When I looked at it under the microscope it seemed as though the tendrils of the neuron were monitoring how tired the animal was.

I'm pretty sure that I play better Bridge shortly after I wake up. I've never formally tested this, but it makes sense.
Some people say that if you feel tired you should take a nap or drink tea or coffee or go for a walk. I think this is bad advice. Tonight I checked the literature - not very thoroughly - and this is what I found.
  • Unsurprisingly, in healthy adults, if you disturb their sleep over a period of days, they get a bit snarky [1]. Finan PH et al., (2015) The Effects of Sleep Continuity Disruption on Positive Mood and Sleep Architecture in Healthy Adults. Sleep: 38:1735: doi: 10.5665/sleep.5154
  • More surprisingly, I discovered an article titled "Changes in Cognitive Performance are Associated with Changes in Sleep in Older Adults with Insomnia". In Behav Sleep Med. 2016; 14(3): 295–310. doi:10.1080/15402002.2014.1002034. Wilckens KA et al.
Before you get too excited about the Wilckens paper read that word "associated". I always warned my students never to include non-directional descriptor words like 'change', 'modulate' or 'associate' in their titles. These are completely anodyne and suggest that when you finally struggle to the end of the manuscript your time will have been wasted.

The abstract starts with the exciting suggestion that "The present study examined sleep features associated with cognition in older adults and examined whether sleep changes following insomnia treatment were associated with cognitive improvements".
Well, that's us isn't it!!! I'm excited.
The Authors discovered that while it is true that better sleep is positively related to better cognition on a variety of tests - Bridge playing was not one of them - they were not able to demonstrate a positive effect of insomnia treatment.
I have a few suggestions. First, just before bed read the Forum, secondly try to count shapes, thirdly, count the number of times Trump says 'I' or 'probably' or 'possibly'.

Here's a cognitive test. Two birds are sitting on a perch, one says to the other "something smell a bit fishy to you? What did the other bird say?

[1] Snarky - annoyed - nothing to do with mathematics - A snark is a connected bridgeless cubic graph (i.e., a biconnected cubic graph) with edge chromatic number of four.



non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#2 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 05:42

There was a recent study that looked into the effects of sleep deprivation and found (iirc) a strong link to dementia and other losses of cognitive function. If that were my area of research it, and every other recent paper from the same team, would be at the top of my list for order. I have not read it though (just heard about it in passing) so you will need to check yourself for whether the team has any papers that directly relate to your area of research.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#3 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 06:16

The second bird said "something smell a bit fishy to you? "
The birds were parrots.




Ken
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#4 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 06:38

Now, as to sleep and cognition. After many years I have decided that our mothers were right: We should speak politely, we should eat our vegetables and we should get a good night of sleep every night.

My own sleep history, abbreviated version:

When I was 5 or so I had intense and frightening nightmares. I would roll around in bed, often ending up on the floor. I, or probably my mother, pushed the bed over so one side was against the wall. I made a small wall out of pillows on the other side of me, slept against the wall with the pillows against me. This worked, the nightmares ended, ever since then I rarely can even remember a dream and when I do remember one it is seriously boring.

Sleeping became easy. In my teenage years I got a paper route, a really good one. I had well over a hundred customers, morning and afternoon, paying enough so that I bought a car with my own money when I was fifteen. But it involved getting up at 4 am for morning deliveries. No problem, up I got, did the work, back to bed, back to sleep, up at 7 for breakfast and school.

Ok, flash forward to about 8 or 9 years ago, I had a mini-stroke, aka a TIA. After exploration we discovered I had sleep apnea. We corrected that with a machine, no more problems. I can't prove it but I strongly believe the apnea led to the TIA. The fact that I have not had further issues with TIA would seem to be (inconclusive) evidence of a link.

Now I am an octogenarian. Well, that's different from being 30 and, for that matter, it is different from being 60. I still sleep well and I still think a good night's sleep is important. Along with eating your veggies.
Ken
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#5 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 14:14

View Postkenberg, on 2020-October-16, 06:16, said:

The second bird said "something smell a bit fishy to you? "
The birds were parrots.


Fail - ask Zelandakh Posted Image He's good at cognitive tests.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#6 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 14:17

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-October-16, 05:42, said:

There was a recent study that looked into the effects of sleep deprivation and found (iirc) a strong link to dementia and other losses of cognitive function. If that were my area of research it, and every other recent paper from the same team, would be at the top of my list for order. I have not read it though (just heard about it in passing) so you will need to check yourself for whether the team has any papers that directly relate to your area of research.


"iirc" - zel - you do have a sense of humour - good job.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#7 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 15:47

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-October-16, 14:17, said:

"iirc" - zel - you do have a sense of humour - good job.

That's lucky since your "cognitive test" is usually just told as a joke without adding the question at the end (sitting on a perch...fishy...get it?). Personally I like Ken's answer better though.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#8 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 15:58

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-October-16, 15:47, said:

That's lucky since your "cognitive test" is usually just told as a joke without adding the question at the end (sitting on a perch...fishy...get it?). Personally I like Ken's answer better though.


Usually, but I thought I'd simplify it. When I asked the fishmonger around the corner from the Gerber-detesting Bridge club this question that was the answer he gave me. You gotta laugh.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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