Discovery

A frequent commentary chronicling the creative and intellectual
excitement of discovery at Washington State University.

Brought to you by Washington State Magazine

Posts Tagged ‘Hans Van Dongen’

This is your brain with not enough sleep

How does your brain work with too little sleep? As police officers, firefighters, nurses, grad students…and most parents…all know, sleep deprivation can cause your mind to react in odd ways. New research by Washington State University scientists has found that the sleep-deprived mind works differently than previously thought.

Hans Van Dongen (right) with Gregory Belenky

Gregory Belenky, M.D. and Hans Van Dongen of the Sleep and Performance Research Center at WSU Spokane use handheld devices to check the sleep habits and reaction times of their sleep study volunteers. Photo by Robert Hubner

Hans Van Dongen and his colleagues at WSU Spokane’s Sleep and Performance Research Center have found that some executive functions of the mind, such as working memory, are essentially unaffected by as much as 51 hours of sleep deprivation. Other functions are highly affected, including information intake, where information becomes distorted before it’s processed in the mind.

Van Dongen’s work appears in the January 2010 journal SLEEP. You can read more about the sleep deprivation research at WSU Today.

To read about WSU’s sleep research, visit Washington State Magazine‘s Spring 2006 feature, “The Secrets of Sweet Oblivion.” 

In the Winter 2009 feature “How We Eat is Who We Are,” you can read about WSU researcher Jim Krueger’s analysis of weight gain and sleep deprivation. (See the sidebar of the article.)

Links

Impact of sleep deprivation different than once thought (WSU Today, Feb. 10, 2010)

WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center