Tired after Thanksgiving Dinner? It’s Not Just the Turkey!

Credit: iStock Are you looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner? It can be a great opportunity to spend time with family or reconnect with friends while enjoying a delicious meal. But feeling bloated and exhausted after dinner could cause your excitement to be short-lived. Who knew eating could take that much out of you? The turkey, … Continue reading Tired after Thanksgiving Dinner? It’s Not Just the Turkey!

What Snoozing Seals Can Teach Us about Cardiovascular Health

Credit: Kaitlin Allen. Photo taken under NMFS permit #19108 Sleep apnea, which is thought to affect up to 1 in 4 adults, occurs when we briefly stop breathing while asleep. The brain senses the decrease in blood oxygen levels that occurs during the interruption and wakes us up so we’ll take a breath. Some of … Continue reading What Snoozing Seals Can Teach Us about Cardiovascular Health

COVID-19 Is Keeping Us Up at Night

Credit: iStock Most of us know how important a good night’s sleep is for our physical and mental health. This is especially true as we live through the COVID-19 pandemic, but for many sleep has become increasingly difficult. Three-quarters of U.K. residents reported changes in their sleep habits during the initial lockdown in March and … Continue reading COVID-19 Is Keeping Us Up at Night

Your Brain During Microsleep

Credit: iStock If you’ve ever forgotten your morning cup of coffee and noticed yourself dozing off in the middle of the day, you might have experienced microsleep, a brief but very deep episode of drowsiness. Microsleep and regular sleep affect our bodies in similar ways, including changing our brain activity and decreasing how much attention … Continue reading Your Brain During Microsleep

Sleeping on an Airplane: It’s All about Blood Flow

This week, the I Spy Physiology blog answers a reader question: Why is it hard to sleep upright on an airplane? Having trouble sleeping when traveling on an airplane or by train or car may not be just because of the change in air pressure or the motion of the vehicle. Your circulation—or lack of … Continue reading Sleeping on an Airplane: It’s All about Blood Flow

Spotlight On: Circadian Rhythm

The phrase “circadian rhythm” seems to appear with increasing frequency in the news. The study of circadian rhythm also got a boost when the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three pioneering researchers in this area. But many people may not understand what it means and why it’s important. All biological … Continue reading Spotlight On: Circadian Rhythm

Missing Out on Sleep, Missing Out on Health: Why You Need More Sleep

Right now, one-third of the population is walking, driving or doing their job in a drunken state. Not because they’ve had too much to drink, but because they haven’t spent enough time in bed. No exaggeration—inadequate sleep has been shown to be the same as operating at a blood alcohol level of .05 percent (the … Continue reading Missing Out on Sleep, Missing Out on Health: Why You Need More Sleep

If Only Birds Could Compete in the Summer Games

Endurance is a hard-won characteristic of many elite athletes and is vital to winning most sporting competitions. If great frigatebirds could compete this summer, they would certainly take home a medal for endurance flight. Frigatebirds are large sea birds with wingspans of more than six feet across. They are really good at gliding and can … Continue reading If Only Birds Could Compete in the Summer Games