Sleep vs. Sex: The Brain Has a Clear Preference

Sleep and love are both very important, so what happens when they are pitted against each other?

That’s what researchers did to some poor fruit flies. They tempted male fruit flies with attractive female fruit flies in the middle of the night, when they would normally be sleeping.

Love won. The male flies spent the night awake when a female was around, foregoing sleep for sex. Not only that, but the researchers discovered a small set of neurons that released a neurotransmitter, similar to human noradrenaline, that was responsible for keeping the flies frisky enough to pull an all-nighter. Silencing those neurons let the male flies have a peaceful but lonely slumber.

Read more about the study here.

Whether your sleep is dictated by love or not, it can affect your cognition. It helps to log your sleep and take some quick cognitive tests using Cambridge Brain Sciences, to see just how much your brain can benefit when it prioritizes rest.

This post originally appeared on the Cambridge Brain Sciences blog with the title Sleep vs. Love: The Brain Has a Clear Preference.