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Study of half awake seals may help people sleep better

Published on Feb 21, 2013 6:17 AM
 

OTTAWA (AFP) - Scientists have identified brain chemicals that allow seals to sleep with half of their brain at a time, according to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

And they say the discovery of how what they called a "unique biological phenomenon" works may help millions - including an estimated 40 per cent of North Americans - who suffer from insomnia or other sleep disorders.

"It could help solve the mystery of how and why we sleep," said the study's senior author Jerome Siegel of UCLA's Brain Research Institute.

Co-author John Peever of the University of Toronto explained that seals are able to "something biologically amazing... The left side of their brain can sleep while the right side stays awake."

 
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