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UnHerd's blog
Fans sleep outside the ground before the Sky Bet Championship match at Elland Road, Leeds.

Sleepy?

He drove 14 miles, and then he murdered his mother-in-law. Apparently he liked her. And he did all of this – the driving and the murdering – while he slept.

It’s not often sleep-walking gets our attention. In fact, sleep itself, so central to our lives, is little understood – and of surprisingly small interest to us (and government-funded research).

But what research does take place is actually rather astonishing, and generally focused on animals.

For example:

  • “Many birds fly non-stop for days or longer, but do they sleep in flight and if so, how?”
  • “On the first night in a new environment, research has shown, one hemisphere of our brain remains more active than the other during sleep – essentially maintaining a ‘vigilant mode’, able to respond to unfamiliar, potentially danger-signalling sounds.”
  • “The rational part of the brain is in a sleep-like state and does not exert its normal control over the limbic system and the motor system,’ explains the Italian neuroscientist Lino Nobili, a sleep researcher at Niguarda Hospital in Milan. ‘So behaviour is regulated by a kind of archaic survival system like the one that is activated during fight-or-flight.”

Read all about it here….

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