Untangling the Mystery of Sleep

Recent sleep research reveals unexpected connections between the brain and gut

A stylized image of a brain under an alarm clock on a background that is half day and half night
Image: nambitomo/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Sleep is one of the most essential human activities — so essential, in fact, that if we don’t get enough sleep for even one night, we may struggle to think, react, and otherwise make it through the day. Yet, despite its importance for function and survival, scientists still don’t fully understand how sleep works.

Enter Dragana Rogulja, a neurobiologist on a quest to unravel the basic biology of sleep.

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As a self-described latecomer to science, Rogulja found herself drawn to questions she considers “broadly interesting and easy to understand on a basic human level.”

One of these questions is what happens when we sleep.