According to new research, learning becomes more difficult as we get older because our brains get too full for new information. This may be due, in part, to finding that with advanced age we get less sleep during the stage in which we don’t dream. Both studies are reported in the prestigious Nature family of journals.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, have discovered the first gene involved in regulating the length of human sleep. The study, published recently in the journal Science, identified a genetic mutation that is associated with a short human sleep phenotype . The finding may help scientists better understand the regulatory mechanisms of sleep and lead to treatments for a variety of sleep disorders.