Magens Bay --San Thomas

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sleep deprived? No problem … just eat!

According to the recent article in Science News, where Marla Sokolowski, a behavioral geneticist at the University of Toronto Mississauga conducted a study on two different flies. According to the article, “Sitter flies, like most people, had trouble learning after being kept up all night, but the flies’ short-term memories improved when food was withheld for 12 hours. The rovers, which seemed like “über-duper super flies” when sleep deprived, had impaired memories when starved, says neuroscientist and study coauthor Paul Shaw of Washington University in St. Louis.”

--coutersy of

Hmm … Interesting! If we are individuals who need minimum of 8 hours of sleep, we need to starve ourselves in order to keep our short term memory sharp when we don’t sleep enough. But, if we are ones of those who can survive with minimal amount of sleep and still functioning quite well … we need to fuel ourselves with lot of grub, otherwise our memories maybe at a loss.

This is quite fascinating. I would have to prove it … I am one of those people who need a minimum of eight hour of sleeps. If I don’t get it, I may become clumsy --starting to drop stuff, bump into wall or may walk into a glass door. Yup! That is me :-)

Last week when I didn’t have enough sleep for about a week or so, I noticed that my brain was taking vacation to never land where I couldn’t even follow any of those movements from my salsa dance workout. I was totally lost. The instructor was probably rolling her eyes looking at me. What can I say! I need to starve myself for 12 hours minimum to get my short memory to work. Ha! That is interesting!

Luv this new discoveries. Until next journey … sleep a lot or eat a lot. In doubt .. take those grub in!

Until next stop,
Journey of Life


  1. Each of us needs a different amount of sleep, it's true. Whatever the level you need personally, the data are pretty clear that, if you chronically do not get enough, you start to have cognitive and other issues. I am surprised that withholding food keeps these flies sharp. In my personal experience, people who are not eating sufficient calories also start to exhibit odd thought patterns due to glucose swings and the distraction that hunger causes.

    When I was living in the Silicon Valley, the culture actually had the pathological quality where people BRAGGED about skipping sleep (and other necessary things like showering or social activity) to work more. It was like a badge of honour to say you had sat at your cubicle for 48 hours straight, cranking out code. Not sure if that culture still is pervasive, but possibly. The world's largest privately-held software firm, The SAS Institute in Cary, NC, actually has a policy where they will physically remove you from the office if you've been there more than 9 or 10 hours (don't remember the exact figure). They are not being altruistic - it's a straight cost-benefit analysis: the quality of the work you do after 10 hours is so poor, it is actually MORE expensive to fix the problems than to get the extra, reduced productivity.

    Other data I've seen - interestingly - are that people who fail to get enough sleep also tend to start gaining weight. Your metabolics are a complex system.

    Bottom line - sleep enough, and eat the right amount of good food.

    1. I totally agree with you on all counts. The problem with those people who claimed (claim) that they were working long hours are somewhat deceiving. Through-out my career, I noticed some people stayed up late but then they don't show up until 12N or so. Or if they happened to show up earlier, they also spending a lot of their times playing ping-pong or arcade provided by the company. I remembered when my girls were younger, before I accepted a job, I always made it clear to the hiring managers that I didn't mind working over time but I couldn't do it all the time. I told them that I would work efficiently so I could get my job done on time. The right word is "work smarter not necessary have to be harder. " Okay, I also recognized that there are some people out there who are work-alcoholic or simply need to work longer hours due to project(s.)
      Sleeping enough keep one's sanity and stay out of problems (be the health, or accident-prone events.)