HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Sleepless over Seattle: Migrating songbirds forgo sleep but keep their wits

Every spring and fall, billions of songbirds migrate thousands of miles. Most fly by night, yet are active during the day as well, raising the question of how they cope with little sleep. A new study, published online in the open-access journal PLoS Biology, suggests such nocturnally migrating songbirds simply skimp on sleep--but without the disastrous effects of sleep-deprivation seen in other animals. If researchers discover the mechanisms behind the birds' feat, it could prove useful for people that need to stay awake for long periods, such as pilots, and could shed light on mood disorders that disrupt sleep.

In the study, led by Ruth Benca of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, captive white-crowned sparrows were studied over the course of a year. These songbirds normally migrate approximately 2,700 miles each spring and fall between Alaska and Southern California, with flights typically occurring at night. In laboratory cages, during migratory seasons the birds get restless, with lots of hopping around and wing flapping. The researchers tracked the birds' movement in the cages and placed sensors on their brains to monitor their sleep patterns across the seasons. During the times the birds would normally be migrating, they slept about a third as much as usual and entered more quickly into REM sleep, the stage of sleep typically associated with dreaming in humans. At night, when the birds were active, the brain recordings showed they were fully awake. The researchers also put the birds through tests of their learning ability. During the migration periods, the birds performed normally on little sleep, but during the times of year when they were not migrating, sleep deprivation seemed to hurt the birds' performance.

These results suggest that migrating songbirds simply slash their sleep time rather than "sleepwalking" through their migrations. The mechanisms underlying the birds' ability to forego sleep are unknown, but further studies could shed
'"/>

Contact: Hemai Parthasarathy
hemai@plos.org
415-624-1205
Public Library of Science
13-Jul-2004


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Sleepless aged rats show biological clock problems
2. UW study: Migrating birds offer insight into sleep
3. Simple Chemical Switch Steers Migrating Neurons
4. Global warming may cause songbirds to avoid certain foods
5. Researchers find new form of hormone that helps songbirds reproduce
6. Unfaithful songbirds increase offspring fitness
7. More raccoons may mean fewer songbirds
8. Clover strip-cropping in cotton provides critical habitat for threatened songbirds
9. Unwanted HRT playing havoc with songbirds
10. Male and female songbirds show big learning differences
11. COPD is forgotten killer, says University of Toronto professor

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/30/2017)... NEW YORK , March 30, 2017 ... by type (physiological and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, ... recognition, voice recognition, and others), by end use industry ... travel and immigration, financial and banking, and others), and ... Europe , Asia Pacific ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... -- The report "Video Surveillance Market by ... Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and Service (VSaaS, Installation ... 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market was valued at ... reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR ... considered for the study is 2016 and the forecast ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... MILAN , March 24, 2017 The Controller ... Deputy Controller Mr. Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international ... Continue Reading ... ... small picture) and Deputy Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... AMRI, a global contract research, development and manufacturing ... and quality of life, will now be offering its impurity solutions as a ... requirements for all new drug products, including the finalization of ICH M7 earlier ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ComplianceOnline’s Medical Device Summit is back for its ... 2018 in San Francisco, CA. The Summit brings together current and former FDA office ... directors and government officials from around the world to address key issues in device ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... A new study ... in frozen and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfer cycles. The ... IVF success. , After comparing the results from the fresh and frozen transfer ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder and CEO of VetStem Biopharma, ... The event entitled “Stem Cells and Their Regenerative Powers,” was held on ... DVM, MPVM was joined by two human doctors: Peter B. Hanson, M.D., Chief of ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: