The Week in Sleep News: March 3, 2023

This week scientists revealed that eye masks might do more for your sleep than just block out light.

Two people sitting in bed reading newspapers. Text reads: Sleep News, Week of March 3, 2023

This week in sleep news:

Eye masks have mental health benefits

Not only do eye masks block out the small slivers of light coming through your blinds, but they have mental health benefits too. Blocking out light while you're sleeping can improve alertness and memory the following day, according to a new study published in Sleep. Participants wore sleep-monitoring headbands to track their sleep. The resulting data suggests an association between eye masks and more slow-wave sleep time, which not only increases your awareness but is also important to memory boosts. The study provides further evidence of the link between light and sleep — and that controlling your light exposure can help your sleep.

Not all sleep advice is created equal

Looking for sleep advice? Be sure to vet your sources. A study released this week by researchers at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston found that up to 90% of sleep videos by bloggers or influencers on social media contain some level of misinformation. The study broke video hosts into four categories: bloggers, health coaches or fitness instructors, medical professionals, and sleep experts. Only sleep experts were found to have no misinformation in their sleep content.

A video game for sleep?

A video game for sleep seems counterintuitive with what we know about blue light and stimulating activities before bed. However, Pokémon Sleep is a sleep tracking app that allows users to interact with characters by getting a good night's rest. To play, instead of picking up their phone users leave their phones next to their bed, allowing the app to record and analyze their sleep. Depending on their pattern of sleep, the user will wake up to their Pokémon sleeping in a similar way. For a non-wearable sleep tracker that gives you detailed data and customized sleep recommendations, check out our sleep app.

Human brain looks years older after just one night without sleep

A new study suggests that even just one sleepless night makes the brain appear years older. Researchers used machine learning to generate "brain age" estimates from MRI scans of the brains of sleep-deprived people. They compared results to MRIs of those same brains after a full night's sleep. The findings suggest that one night of complete sleep deprivation produces changes in the brain similar to those seen after one or two years of aging. Since this study was relatively small, further research is needed.

In sleep-centric social media...

Some days are better than others, just like some sleeps are better than others.

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