Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The Conversation logo

No one can stay awake forever. While we’re awake, our need for sleep gradually increases. If we deprive ourselves of sleep, our brain functions – such as attention or judgement – are impaired, and sleep becomes irresistible. No matter whether we are on a couch or at work – if we ignore our need for sleep, we ultimately crash.

Although sleep is vital, until now it hasn’t been known which structure of the brain tells us when we are tired. But our recent study has shown in laboratory mice that the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for the most complex brain functions – including perception, language, thought and episodic memory – helps us track our need for sleep.

Read the full article on The Conversation website, written by Lukas B. Krone , Vladyslav Vyazovskiy  and Zoltán Molnár (Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics.

Oxford is a subscribing member of The ConversationFind out how you can write for The Conversation.

Similar stories

Oxford spinout trials revolutionary bioelectronic implant to treat incontinence

The first participants in a clinical trial of a bioelectrical therapy to treat incontinence have received their “smart” bioelectronic implants.

COVID-19 is a leading cause of death in children and young people in the US

A new study led by researchers at the University of Oxford’s Department of Computer Science has found that, between 2021 and 2022, COVID-19 was a leading cause of death in children and young people in the United States, ranking eighth overall. The results demonstrate that pharmaceutical and public health interventions should continue to be applied to limit the spread of the coronavirus and protect again severe disease in this age group.

Three or more concussions linked with worse brain function in later life

Experiencing three or more concussions is linked with worsened brain function in later life, according to new research.

New blood test could save lives of heart attack victims

Researchers in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics (DPAG) have developed a blood test that measures stress hormone levels after heart attacks. The test – costing just £10 – could ensure patients receive timely life-saving treatment.

COVID-19 increased public trust in science, new survey shows

A survey of over 2000 British adults has found that public trust in science, particularly genetics, increased significantly during the pandemic. However, those with extremely negative attitudes towards science tend to have high self-belief in their own understanding despite low textbook knowledge.

Gero Miesenböck awarded 2023 Japan Prize

Congratulations to Professor Gero Miesenböck, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics (DPAG), who has been awarded the 2023 Japan Prize in the field of Life Sciences, together with Professor Karl Deisseroth, for pioneering work in the field of optogenetics.