Characterizing Sleep-Wake States in a Cat

For those of you not schooled in the history of sleep, the use of a cat as an animal model of sleep may seem novel. However, the cat was used as an animal model of sleep decades before rats, mice, hamsters, monkeys, and other non-human mammals. In fact, one of the first studies to identify […]

Daylight Savings is a Public Health Concern. Who is responsible? The circadian system or sleep homeostat?

This isn’t new news. For years, public health officials have forewarned us about the increased risks for car accidents, workplace accidents, and immediate declines in cardiovascular and neurological health following the springing forward. Nearly all of these studies attribute the connection between DST and changes in health risks to an hour of sleep loss because […]

Highlights from the Gordon Conference on Sleep Regulation

I have been idle the past week because I have been in Galveston, TX for a secret society meeting of sleep researchers. It wasn’t really secret, but it was an invite only conference limited to less than 200 participants worldwide. The focus of the meeting was the neural mechanisms of sleep, namely those studied in […]

Neury Thursday: Genotypic Insights on Dopamine, Modafinil, and Sleep

This seems like a no brainer. Dopamine is an arousal-promoting neurotransmitter (in most cases). It excites other nerve cells, and is the primary neurotransmitter of the central reward circuit. Dopamine agonists like modafinil have saturated the pharma market for years in order to combat daytime sleepiness and shift work. Nowadays, the focus has shifted to […]

5 Years of Dormivigilia

Five years ago, a few graduate students in the biology department and I decided that we wanted to become better science writers, professionally and publicly. Around the same time, the three of us also happened to co-found a campus group called The Kent State Freethinkers to provide a social and educational outlet for skeptics and atheists […]

Empirical Evidence for West Coast Domination

If you follow sports as closely as I do, you will be excited about some recent findings in my own fields of sleep and chronobiology. This data has been around for at least a decade, but it hasn’t been picked up by media outlets until recently. The bottom line is that West Coast teams of […]

Gender Influences Sleep Amount and Subsequent Physiology

In the most recent issue of Journal of Biological Rhythms, very good friends and colleagues of mine uncovered sex differences in sleep and circadian physiology. I worked in this laboratory as an undergraduate so I can accurately visualize the protocol, instruments, and equipment used to collect this data. The major significance of this study is […]

Promise of Sleep

The Promise of Sleep is a wonderful book by the founder of sleep medicine–Dr. William C. Dement, by the way. This isn’t a post about the book though. This is a post about the promising future of sleep research. In the first issue of the journal Sleep, the Editor-in-Chief,  Dr. David Dinges, undertook a statistical analysis of […]

Best of Dormivigilia in 2013

This year was incredible–scientifically, athletically, and personally. I had a lot of firsts that will, in some cases, likely never be seconds. I got both NIH grants that I first applied for in 2012 and then re-applied for in 2013; an F32 to investigate skeletal muscle regulation of sleep and metabolic processes and a loan […]

Sleep drugs: are we there yet?

Every time I attend the annual sleep meeting, there’s a disconnect between pharmaceutical research presented in the poster hall versus the exhibit hall; the former hall often showcases negative side effects and behaviors like sleep driving, sleep eating, sleep gambling, sleep shopping, and sleep sex-ing (ie. people taking sleep meds initiate sex with their partners […]

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