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Don't Lose Sleep Over This

Scott LaFee on

It's long been known that sleep deprivation adversely affects cognitive function; we just don't seem to think as well or as effectively when we don't get enough rest. But new research out of Michigan State University suggests the ill effects of too little sleep impact mental functioning in other ways.

The researchers looked at how sleep deprivation affects place keeping -- the ability to complete a series of steps without losing one's place, despite potential interruptions. "Sleep deprivation doubles the odds of making place-keeping errors and triples the number of lapses in attention, which is startling," said study author Kimberly M. Fenn.

"Our findings debunk a common theory that suggests that attention is the only cognitive function affected by sleep deprivation," added co-author Michelle Stepan, a doctoral candidate. "Some sleep-deprived people might be able to hold it together under routine tasks, like a doctor taking a patient's vitals. But our results suggest that completing an activity that requires following multiple steps, such as a doctor completing a medical procedure, is much riskier under conditions of sleep deprivation."

Body of Knowledge

Men tend to have more lean muscle tissue than women, which burns more calories than body fat, even during rest, so men tend to lose weight more quickly -- at least at first -- when starting exercise programs. Over time, however, the rate of weight loss evens out.

Get Me That, Stat!

 

Alaska has the highest rate of gun deaths in the U.S. at nearly 25 deaths per 100,000 people. Louisiana and Alabama are second and third. Hawaii has the lowest rate: three deaths per 100,000 people. Nearly two-thirds of firearm-related deaths are due to suicide.

Counts

35,000: Estimated number of Americans who die each year of complications caused by antimicrobial resistance

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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