28 Apr '11, 4am

Can one be awake and asleep at the same time? Study suggests that a tired brain can 'fall asleep' for a split second

Can one be awake and asleep at the same time? Study suggests that a tired brain can 'fall asleep' for a split second

A new study indicates that if a brain is tired, parts of it can fall asleep for a fraction of a second, although it is 'awake' at the time. -- ST FILE PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG PARIS - IF YOU'VE ever mislaid your keys or glasses and blamed this on being daft or forgetful, you may be doing yourself a disservice: you may be a bit short of sleep, that's all. So suggests a study on rats, which says that if a brain is tired, parts of it can fall asleep for a fraction of a second, even though the organ is ostensibly awake at the time. The implications are far-reaching, especially for people doing tasks where lack of sleep could be dangerous, say its authors. 'Even before you feel fatigued, there are signs in the brain that you should stop certain activities that may require alertness,' said Dr Chiara Cirelli, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. 'Speci...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/TechandScience/S...

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