science of sleep

When you sleep in unfamiliar surroundings, only half your brain is getting a good night's rest.

"The left side seems to be more awake than the right side," says Yuka Sasaki, an associate professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences at Brown University.

Miranda Kelly, a 14-year-old from Sykesville, Md., says she's been sleepwalking since she was 6 or 7. The first time, she says, "I woke up on the couch on a school day. And I'd gone to bed in my bed."

Since that first episode, Kelly now sleepwalks every couple of months. "I wake up in weird places, randomly. I have once woken up in the kitchen, and on the floor of the bathroom wrapped in my sheet," she says.

Amir jina / Flickr

A scientist at Spokane’s Riverpoint campus has received a large grant to study one question: Why do humans sleep?

Scientist Jonathan Wisor has received a $1.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study how the brain processes glucose, which the body uses as a primary energy source.