The Week in Sleep News: September 16, 2022

Having trouble getting your crying baby back to sleep? Researchers may have found the scientifically proven best way to soothe them back to sleep.

Two people reading newspaper's in bed. Text reads: Sleep News Week of September 16, 2022

Here’s the sleep news for this week:

A new way to get a crying baby back to sleep

Science shows that getting out of bed can help adults more easily fall back asleep—and new research shows the same may be true for infants. Research submitted to Current Biology suggests that a study of 21 infants showed the best method to calm a crying baby is to pick them up and walk around for five minutes. After this, sit and hold the baby for five to eight minutes before placing them back in their crib. Using heart-rate monitors and hand-held video cameras, researchers found that babies who were crying calmed down and had drops in heart rates within 30 seconds of the parent starting to walk. All babies stopped crying as the parent walked, with half of them falling asleep.

Pre-teens are losing eight hours of sleep per week

Phone use and doomscrolling before bed hurt adults’ sleep. A new study from De Montfort University has revealed that the same is true for kids. Children 10 to 11 could be losing up to eight hours of sleep a week due to use of social media. Researchers found that 10-year-old children who use social media before going to sleep get less sleep and are more likely to suffer from anxiety and fear of missing out. This study also found that 10- to 11-year-olds are only getting an average 8.7 hours of sleep a night when they should be getting 9 to 11 hours of sleep.

Which social media sites cause the most sleep loss?

Speaking of adolescent sleep loss, another study from Adelaide, Australia, studied which technologies and sites cost children ages 12 to 18 the most sleep loss. What researchers found is that across the board, no matter what device a child was using, watching YouTube increased the odds that he or she slept less than seven hours. However, while watching TV or engaging with other apps increased the chance of a later bedtime, they caused less disruption to an adolescent’s sleep length.

Body temperature linked to REM length

A new study reports that warm-blooded animals with higher body temperatures get lower amounts of REM sleep, while those with lower body temperatures get more REM sleep. Published in Lancet Neurology, the study found that birds have the highest body temperature at 41 degrees Celsius and get 0.7 hours of REM sleep, while humans sit at 37 degrees Celsius with two hours of REM sleep. Researchers found that REM sleep acts like a “thermostatically controlled brain heater.”

Paintings from a dream go to auction

The most significant paintings from Gertrude Abercrombie, a surrealist painter from the 20th century, will go to auction this fall on September 28. Abercrombie debuted in 1932 at the world’s fair in Chicago with her surrealist paintings of dreamy, barren landscapes. While she was well known in the Chicago art scene, she received little notoriety from the rest of the world. The painter saw dreams as a valuable asset to her work, as oftentimes, the subjects of her paintings came to her in her dreams.

In sleep-centric social media...

The New Yorker Magazine pokes fun at how exhausting our digital age can be.

A doodle of a person sitting up in bed with a phone in their hand. Text reads: I'm too tired to click on things all day.
New Yorker Magazine

A tweet showing an adorable duck fighting off sleep in a frog hat seems like the perfect way to end our week

A duck asleep wearing a knitted hat with frog eyes.
@seokuva / Twitter