17th June 2016

  Note to my sleepy self: Do something about it

In the past year, there has been a slew of local articles about sleep, the health risks of sleep deprivation, the need for work-life balance, as well as letters calling for action to improve students’ sleep.

While there appears to be genuine recognition that something needs to change, the needle has not moved much on a societal or policy level. In this instance, instead of waiting for government action, change can and should actually begin with individuals. Here are five pointers to get us to the tipping point.

[Read the full article]


29th March 2016

  Recovery sleep 'can't fully fix some cognitive deficits'

Earlier this month, Duke-NUS Medical School researchers were featured in a first-of-its-kind study in the United States journal Sleep.

In the study, 56 teenagers, mostly from "elite" high schools and aged between 15 and 19, stayed in a boarding school for two weeks to assess how insufficient sleep could affect cognitive function.

For seven nights, half the teens received five hours of sleep, while the other half had nine hours - the recommended sleep duration for this age group.

[Read the full article]


29th February 2016

  'Need for Sleep': Even elite students are not spared

The legendary work ethic of East Asian students may have driven them to the top of the standardized test leaderboard, but researchers found that adolescents who sleep five hours a night for a week experience significant cognitive degradation.

[Read the full article]


2nd July 2014

  Less Sleep Pushes Your Brain to Age Faster

Older adults who sleep less show evidence of a more rapid decline in cognitive performance, according to a study by Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore.

[Read the full article]


1st July 2014

  The less older adults sleep, the faster their brains age, new study suggests

Researchers at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore (Duke-NUS) have found evidence that the less older adults sleep, the faster their brains age. These findings, relevant in the context of Singapore's rapidly ageing society, pave the way for future work on sleep loss and its contribution to cognitive decline, including dementia.

[Read the full article]


1st July 2014

  Sleeping less? Your brain will age faster, study finds

Older adults who sleep less show evidence of a more rapid decline in cognitive performance, according to a study by Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore.

[Read the full article]


14th March 2014

  Why getting enough sleep matters

Last year, an opinion-editorial that I wrote on the perils of short sleep received an unexpected flood of attention. Some wrote tongue-in-cheek commentaries on local sleep patterns. A few concerned parents made appeals on forum pages to have morning-session secondary schools start later. Others thanked me for helping them counsel their children. Is this acknowledgement that the effects of sleep on health are being taken more seriously? Perhaps not.

[Read the full article]


2nd May 2013

  For Sleep-Deprived Memory Loss, Look to the Visual System

The rising cost of healthcare and the burden of chronic illness are perennial concerns. Remarkably, there exists a measure that a quarter to a third of city dwellers can implement to reduce their risk of accidents, coronary artery disease, diabetes, cancer and all-cause mortality, while improving their cognitive performance.

[Read the full article]


Work on risky decision making in sleep deprived persons highlighted in news around the world

 9th March 2011


Time Magazine

Tricks to Improving Your Odds in Vegas: Get a Full Night's Sleep. [read full article]


8th March 2011


Scientific American

Short on Sleep, the Brain Optimisitcally Favours Long Odds. [read full article] 



Bloomberg Businessweek

Sleep Deprivation May Encourage Risky Decisions. [read full article]




Sleep-Deprived People Make Risky Decisions Based on Too Much Optimism. [read full article]  



8th December 2009

Read this article and concerned about MRI scans?

The recent article in The Straits Times, “Dangerous brain scans found” should prove little cause for alarm among Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) participants. The dangerous brain scans in question refer to a series of Computed Tomography, or CT brain perfusion scans. The potential dangers that accompany CT scans do not apply to MRI scans even though from the outside, the scanners look the same. [Read more in our FAQ section]


21st May 2008


Work on lapses in sleep deprivation highlighted in US News and DukeMed News

Using MRI to measure blood flow in the brains of volunteers, researchers at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School found that even after sleep deprivation, participants had periods of near-normal brain function in which they were able to complete tasks quickly....[read more: US News]  [read more: DukeMed News]


  New paper published in Journal of Neuroscience: Lapsing during Sleep Deprivation is Associated with Distributed Changes in Brain Activation
Lapses of attention manifest as delayed behavioral responses to salient stimuli. Although they can occur even after a normal night's sleep, they are longer in duration and more frequent after sleep deprivation... [view pdf]


4th June 2007

  Culture May Make an Impression: Brain-imaging study finds a difference in visual processing between Western and Eastern elders

A lifetime of paying attention to the background may have trained some senior citizens to tamp down part of their brain’s ability to see the foreground, suggest researchers in Illinois and Singapore...

[Read the full article]


22nd May 2007

  For Sleep-Deprived Memory Loss, Look to the Visual System

While it is well documented that sleep deprivation leads to short-term memory loss, it had been believed that it was the result of the brain not being able to assemble and "file away" the information it received in its proper place. However, researchers from the Duke University-NUS Graduate Medical School suggest that the problem occurs earlier in the information-gathering process....

[Read the full article]


9th May 2007

  Blame boneheaded bets on your tired brains: Scientists pinpoint why late-night gamblers lose big time

The later Tim Harris stays up playing poker, the bolder — and more imprudent — he becomes. As it turns out, it’s not just Harris choosing risky options when exhausted. Sleep experts point to disasters like the Exxon Valdez oil spill and Chernobyl as examples of what can happen when people don’t get enough sleep.

[Read the full article]

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