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The effects of sleep on wellbeing and cognition

Ji, S; (2018) The effects of sleep on wellbeing and cognition. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This thesis investigated sleep and memory in middle aged women (42-59 years old), a demographic group who is experiencing a reduction in ovarian hormones and is particularly at risk of sleep disturbances. Also, based on the findings that sleep plays an important role in cognition, I investigated the effects of sleep on memory consolidation and skill training and whether rapid eye movement (REM) during REM sleep are involved in the consolidation process. The first chapter describes the physiology and the functions of sleep, how the circadian timing system (CTS) and sleep homeostasis influence sleep, how sleep changes across the lifespan, and how to artificially induce sleep. The second chapter describes the general methods in assessing sleep and conducting sleep experiments. The third chapter provides a descriptive account of sleep in middle-aged and menopausal women. The results show that a range of menopausal related symptoms but not menopausal status predict sleep quality. Chapter 4 addressed the question of whether there is a difference in sleep architecture between premenopausal and menopausal women during a nap and whether the nap helps to improve declarative memory performance. The results show that menopausal women performed significantly worse than premenopausal women in the memory task in both the nap and non-nap conditions, despite having had more N2 sleep. Chapter 5 investigated the facilitating effects of sleep on cognitive training that involves higher order executive functions, and the time course for cognitive training. Results show that sleep significantly facilitated the improvement in task-switching task. Chapter 6 investigated REMs during REM sleep. This study provides the first evidence that REMs during REM sleep are affected by previously learnt materials prior to sleep and these REMs are related to improved memory performance. The last chapter provides a general discussion of these experiments and future directions.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The effects of sleep on wellbeing and cognition
Event: UCL(University College London)
Language: English
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10049531
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