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Star-shaped brain cells called astrocytes appear to play an essential role in sleep, a new study at Washington State University Spokane found. Researchers in the Sleep and Performance Research Center published a study showing that astrocytes communicate to neurons to regulate sleep time in fruit flies and suggests it may do the same in mammals, including humans.
Spokane sleep research has found clues to how night work disturbs the body’s metabolism and increases risk of obesity, diabetes and health disorders.
Researchers from Washington State University’s Sleep and Performance Research Center received a $1.7 million grant to develop training that helps prevent sleep-deprived people from making serious errors.
Battling the flu could someday be as much as about inhaling some extra brain protein as reaching for another tissue. Researchers at Washington State University in Spokane have discovered that a brain-specific protein called AcPb speeds recovery in lab mice by promoting the healing power of sleep. In mice that lack the protein, symptoms were more severe and they died at higher rates.
Need another reason to get eight hours of sleep each night? Washington State University researchers say sleep-deprived people make poor decisions because they struggle to remember and interpret important information.
Sleep researchers worldwide are poring over lab results to find why and when tired or fatigued workers hit the wall and start making mistakes. They’re trying to develop solid answers for why some people tire out later than others, and which jobs or professions are most sensitive to sleep disruption. Another step in finding those clues is taking place at Spokane’s newest research lab, the Washington State University Critical Job Tasks Simulation Laboratory, inside the Bookie building on the Riverpoint campus downtown.