Sleep deprivation making you feel jumpy? It's not in your head. Human cortical excitability increases with time awake. [Abstract and link to full paper.]
"Common images are bearded, goblin-like demons laughing or whispering sinister speech, a faceless girl (usually covering her face with hair, moving around in bed moaning and feeling my body), hands appearing from the wall and attempting to strangle me. A hung man talking in the corner of the room, and some of the most bizarre experiences may include up to a dozen 'critter' entities (think Gremlins movie) laughing and talking about me. The environment tends to feel like a holographic dollhouse, the experience peaks and then the hallucinations mysteriously vanish when I regain control of my body."- The bizarre world of sleep paralysis, a form of hypnagogia and root of many folkloric figures such as succubi or incubi and the night hag.
Mapping Memory. "Turn the human brain upside down and all around to see how memories are saved (or lost)." National Geographic has a great interactive 3D map of the brain as part of an excellent feature on memory. [more inside]
No one really knows exactly why we need so much sleep, but it seems obvious that many of us aren't getting enough. Tu veux coucher avec moi? I'm bushed.
Discover Magazine's 20 Things You Didn't Know About... Short, interesting and occasionally witty facts about Aliens, Lab Accidents, Nobel Prizes, Meteors, Death, Sleep and more.
Nature has a somewhat technical but free supplement on sleep
Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sleep (But Were Too Afraid To Ask). Circadiana is a new specialty blog dedicated to chronobiology. As a night owl (I'm posting this link at 2:45 AM), I look forward to many late nights reading this site.
Foetus, log, yearner, soldier, freefaller or starfish? And note that the percentages only add up to 89%, which either means that 11% of us are vampires that hang upside down from our ankles, or there's more ways of sleeping than I was aware of.