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Bedtime 'has huge impact on sport' 29 January 2015Last updated at 12:21 ET By James Gallagher Health editor, BBC News website Can Real Madrid's success be down to a later society?

Bedtime 'has huge impact on sport'

Our internal body clock has such a dramatic impact on sporting ability that it could alter the chances of Olympic gold, say researchers. The team, at the University of Birmingham, showed performance times varied by 26% throughout the day. Early risers reached their athletic peak around lunchtime, while night owls were best in the evening. The researchers say it could even explain why Spanish teams have more success in European football. The body clock controls everything from alertness to the risk of a heart attack, in a daily rhythm. Continue reading the main story Some aspects of sporting ability were thought to peak in early afternoon, but a study in the journal Current Biology suggests each competitor's sleeping habits have a powerful impact.

And they did it at six different times of day between 07:00 and 22:00. Advantage. Sleep your way to new year’s resolution success. A few years ago I tracked over 3,000 people attempting to achieve a range of new year’s resolutions, including losing weight, exercising more, stopping smoking and drinking less.

Sleep your way to new year’s resolution success

At the start of the study, 52% of participants were confident of success. One year later, only 12% had actually achieved their goal. So what can you do to increase your chances of making your 2015 resolutions a reality? Sleep 'cleans' the brain of toxins. The brain uses sleep to wash away the waste toxins built up during a hard day's thinking, researchers have shown.

Sleep 'cleans' the brain of toxins

The US team believe the "waste removal system" is one of the fundamental reasons for sleep. Their study, in the journal Science, showed brain cells shrink during sleep to open up the gaps between neurons and allow fluid to wash the brain clean. They also suggest that failing to clear away some toxic proteins may play a role in brain disorders. One big question for sleep researchers is why do animals sleep at all when it leaves them vulnerable to predators? It has been shown to have a big role in the fixing of memories in the brain and learning, but a team at the University of Rochester Medical Centre believe that "housework" may be one of the primary reasons for sleep. "The brain only has limited energy at its disposal and it appears that it must choose between two different functional states - awake and aware or asleep and cleaning up," said researcher Dr Maiken Nedergaard.

Sleeping longer 'helps athletes reach peak performance' 1 July 2011Last updated at 07:36 The true value of sleep is often overlooked, researchers say The value of sleep has been reinforced by yet another scientific study.

Sleeping longer 'helps athletes reach peak performance'

Tackling fears 'while you sleep' 22 September 2013Last updated at 19:38 ET By Caroline Parkinson Health editor, BBC News website Deep sleep is a time where we consolidate memories US researchers suggest smells could be used to calm fears - while people sleep.

Tackling fears 'while you sleep'

People were trained to associate two images, linked to smells, with fear. During sleep they were exposed to one of those smells - and when they woke they were less frightened of the image linked to that smell. A UK expert praised the Nature Neuroscience study and said it could help treat phobias and perhaps even post-traumatic stress disorders. People with phobias are already commonly treated with "gradual exposure" therapy while they are awake, where they are exposed to the thing they are frightened of in incremental degrees. This study suggests that the theory could be extended to therapy while they are in slow-wave, or deep, sleep. This is the deepest period of sleep, where memories, particularly those linked to emotions, are thought to be processed. Brain changes. Sleep's memory role discovered. 5 June 2014Last updated at 19:44 ET By James Gallagher Health and science reporter, BBC News The mechanism by which a good night's sleep improves learning and memory has been discovered by scientists.

Sleep's memory role discovered

The team in China and the US used advanced microscopy to witness new connections between brain cells - synapses - forming during sleep. Their study, published in the journal Science, showed even intense training could not make up for lost sleep. How much can an extra hour's sleep change you? 9 October 2013Last updated at 04:24 ET The average Briton gets six-and-a-half hours' sleep a night, according to the Sleep Council.

How much can an extra hour's sleep change you?

Michael Mosley took part in an unusual experiment to see if this is enough. It has been known for some time that the amount of sleep people get has, on average, declined over the years. Can an extra hour of sleep have radical health benefits? How to feel refreshed even after too little sleep - and why you MUST have an afternoon nap. Never wake up tired again. Secret to waking up refreshed is to work out your sleep in 90 minute cyclesNapping will improve your memory, reaction time, and productivityProfessor Richard Wiseman says napping 'may even save your life'PLUS: How to stop snoring forever!

How to feel refreshed even after too little sleep - and why you MUST have an afternoon nap. Never wake up tired again

By Professor Richard Wiseman Published: 23:43 BST, 23 March 2014 | Updated: 12:31 BST, 24 March 2014 If you follow Professor Richard Wiseman's tips, you could become a 'super sleeper' and never wake up tired again Insomnia is the modern malaise. 7 surprising facts about sleep and dreaming. My new book on sleep and dreaming, Night School, is published today.

7 surprising facts about sleep and dreaming

It has been 2 years in the making and so I am very excited to see it out there! Based on research, mass-participation experiments and the world’s largest archive of dream reports, it reveals how to… …get the best night’s sleep of your life …discover what your dreams really mean …learn information while you sleep ….banish jet-lag, nightmares and snoring To give you a flavour of the material, here are 7 surprising facts about sleep and dreaming… 1) If you want to feel sleepy when you head to bed …Banish the blues: Blue light from computer screen and smartphones keeps you awake. 2) If you want to fall asleep quickly…Use positive imagery and the paradox principle: First, imagine yourself in a very pleasant scenario.

How to sleep better. Wiseman, who is Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, had already looked into self-development during the day with his book 59 Seconds, but soon realised that no one was doing the same for the night time.

How to sleep better

"You spend a third of your life asleep and yet we don't make the most of that, we think we just turn our brains off and so we concentrate on our waking lives," he says. "But I thought it would be nice to pay some attention to it. The experts I spoke to had a fairly good understanding of what was happening during the night, yet it hadn't really been communicated to the public. And that seemed a real pity. " Using new research, mass-participation experiments and the world's largest archive of dreams, Wiseman explores the surprising science of sleep and dreaming in his new book Night School: Wake Up to the Power of Sleep, and reveals how to get the most out of your sleeping hours.

Fighting insomnia. Increased workloads and 24-hour access to the internet have created a world that rarely sleeps. The statistics are staggering. One 2011 survey by the Mental Health Foundation found that more than 30% of Britons suffer from insomnia or another serious sleep problem. You might think that not getting a good night's sleep simply leaves you a bit grumpy; in reality, the effects can be far more damaging. When you are sleep-deprived, you struggle to think straight. Charging your iPhone or iPad in your bedroom could make you put on weight, scientists say - Science - News. A study by the University of Granada found that artificial light from phone screens, street lights, laptops or television stops the body generating a hormone that combats obesity. Melatonin is necessary to regulate sleep patterns and is a powerful anti-inflammatory that boosts the metabolism.

Experiments conducted on obese rats found that increased consumption of the hormone made them lose weight and also fought type two diabetes. Scientists believe it can have the same effect on humans. Developed and developing countries around the world are seeing a significant increase in obesity rates and type two diabetes. Body clock 'reset button' found. 3 October 2013Last updated at 14:02 ET By James Gallagher Health and science reporter, BBC News Will the body's time ever be as easily to adjust as a clock's? Drugs that rapidly tweak the body clock in order to avoid jet lag and the pains of shift work have moved a step closer after research in Japan. The team at Kyoto University has found the clock's 'reset button' inside the brain. Their study, published in the journal Science, showed the button could be used to switch the clock to a new time zone in a single day.

Body Clock: What makes you tick? Chronotherapy: The science of timing drugs to our Body Clock. Being in tune with your natural Body Clock is about a lot more than knowing whether your are a "lark" or an "owl". As the BBC's Day of the Body Clock has shown, it can also have a profound effect on our health. Doctors are becoming increasingly interested in the science of chronotherapy - aligning medical treatment to our circadian rhythms. Cancer and rheumatoid arthritis are two disease areas where chronotherapy is showing promise. Chemotherapy Every three weeks Philippe Maillol makes the 500 mile round trip from his home in Limoges to Paris for cancer treatment. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August 2013 and began standard chemotherapy in Limoges with the drugs infused during the day. But the side effects were hard to bear. Full Moon 'disturbs a good night's sleep' 25 July 2013Last updated at 12:26 ET By Michelle Roberts Health editor, BBC News online The disturbance in sleep patterns is not connected to the extra light of a full Moon A full Moon can disturb a good night's sleep, scientists believe.

Researchers found evidence of a "lunar influence" in a study of 33 volunteers sleeping in tightly controlled laboratory conditions. Carry on camping - can a week under canvas reset our body clocks? Researchers say that camping for a week can reset the biological clock that governs our sleeping patterns. The scientists argue that modern life disrupts our sleep through exposure to electric light and reduced access to sunlight. But after spending time in the great outdoors, the researchers say the body clocks of eight volunteers synchronised with sunrise and sunset. The research has been published in the journal Current Biology. All life forms on earth have evolved biological rhythms that anticipate sunrise and sunset. Researchers have found that the widespread availability of electric lighting from the 1930s onwards has affected our internal circadian clocks, allowing us to stay up much later than evolution intended.

The scientists in this study first analysed a small group of volunteers as they went about their normal lives, and recorded their exposure to natural and artificial light. The myth of the eight-hour sleep. We often worry about lying awake in the middle of the night - but it could be good for you. Why teenagers really do need an extra hour in bed.

How to nap like a pro. We’ve all heard of the merits of power naps, says Tiffanie Wen, but are there good and bad ways to sleep during the day? 'Afternoon naps' aid children's learning. 23 September 2013Last updated at 20:59 ET Napping may help consolidate learning, experts say. Regular naps are 'key to learning' 12 January 2015Last updated at 20:54 ET By James Gallagher Health editor, BBC News website. Sleep quality 'improves with age' 1 March 2012Last updated at 01:03 The study involved more than 150,000 people The belief that older people tend to suffer worse sleep may be false - in fact the reverse may be true, according to US researchers.

A telephone survey of more than 150,000 adults suggested that, apart from a blip in your 40s, sleep quality gets better with age. Late nights 'sap children's brain power' 8 July 2013Last updated at 19:45 ET By Michelle Roberts Health editor, BBC News online. Are you a lark or an owl? Image copyright Science Photo Library Whether you prefer being up at dawn or burning the midnight oil depends on your genes, experts have found.

Fragmented sleep 'harms memory' 25 July 2011Last updated at 22:20. Alcohol-fuelled sleep 'less satisfying' 'Tired' fat cells might trigger obesity. Shift workers 'risking' diabetes and obesity. Poor sleep makes food more appealing. Sleep engineering: Cardiff scientists working on designer rest. Yes, Your Sleep Schedule Is Making You Sick. Why reducing sleep makes you hungry.