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It’s well known that getting quality sleep is good for us, and pretty much everyone would agree that a good night’s rest makes getting out of bed in the morning easier and our days more productive. But Dr. John Peever, professor at the University of Toronto Department of Cell & Systems Biology and Vice President of research at the Canadian Sleep Society, is focused on answering more in-depth questions about sleep that involve identifying exactly how and why sleep provides the benefits it does. Answering these questions requires diving deep into the neurobiology of sleep—the study of how the brain causes different sleep behaviors.

The primary focus of Dr. Peever’s lab is on developing a better understanding of an important state of sleep called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. They’re investigating what exactly the brain is doing while in REM sleep, the importance of REM sleep to our health, the mechanism of REM sleep behavior disorder, and the relationship between the parts of the brain that cause REM sleep and degenerative disease processes such as those that lead to Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Peever discusses the details of all this and more, including narcolepsy, the differences between different stages of sleep, the effect of light and electronics on sleep rhythm, how sleep affects every muscle in the body, and the potential for sleep to repair DNA. Press play to hear the full conversation and stay current on the latest by visiting www.peeverlab.com.

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