Sparrows Cheat on Sleep: Migratory birds are up at night but still stay sharp

By Susan Milius, 15:50 PM April 15, 2008

During their fall migration season, certain sparrows sleep only about a third as much as they do at other times of the year, but they manage to keep up their performance on tests of learning, a new lab study indicates. Outside the migration season, however, birds with disrupted sleep slump in learning tasks.

Niels C. Rattenborg of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and his colleagues say in the July Public Library of Science Biology that this finding of no-cost sleep deprivation is "unpreced...

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