Can math help us sleep better?

Maybe math hasn't contributed much to improve your daily rest. (Or maybe, at times, it has.)

But while we don't understand all the reasons for why the human body even needs sleep, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York state are taking a new approach to understanding the science of sleep, using mathematics. The research includes mathematical models measuring how environmental, medical or physical changes to the human body affect sleep, in order to more fully understand the sleep-wake cycle.

So while you may still be recovering from the hour of sleep you lost during our recent "spring forward," we might soon have more scientific understanding of the impact that such sleep factors have on our bodies.

The most common question students ask math teachers at every level is “When will I use math?” is a non-profit website that helps to answer this question. This website describes the importance of mathematics and many rewarding career opportunities available to students who study mathematics.



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Dr. Cary Oberije, a postdoctoral researcher in The Netherlands, has found that mathematical models can be used to accurately predict patients' responses to treatment. Prediction models were used to analyze lung cancer patients' likelihood of survival and...

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