Tools and Equipment of Science
Volunteer Live Laboratory Sleep Studies
Studies in laboratories of sleep-deprived healthy adults have taught us much about the critical need for nightly sleep, the consequences for health and behavior of not obtaining adequate sleep, and the biological processes involved in sleep. The functions of sleep also have become increasingly clear. Healthy nightly sleep of adequate duration produces renewed alertness, enhances our ability to pay attention, consolidates our memories from the day before, improves our moods and relieves our fatigue, in addition to other biologically-mediated effects on brain and body. When sleep is disturbed or of inadequate duration, all of these functions show deficits.
Transcript of Videotaped Presentation (http://www.bioedonline.org/presentations/)
We know a great deal about how the sleep system affects our ability to perform, meaning our ability to think, our reaction times, and our ability to make decisions, remember the material we study, and pay close attention. We learn about sleep effects by bringing healthy young people into the laboratory. These subjects are all adults who volunteer to live in a laboratory where we control the light/dark cycle and when they sleep and when they’re awake. Now, the volunteers are instrumented with brain wave recording equipment and equipment for eye movement recording and muscle activity and heart recording, cardio vascular equipment, and they may have a blood line for recording blood or saliva and activity monitor, a core body temperature monitor—all the physiological factors or systems that are regulated by the biological clock and our need for sleep.
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