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Night Watch in One Brain Hemisphere during Sleep Associated with the First-Night Effect in Humans

Typically human sleep is poorer the first night at a new location. Dolphins, some seals, some birds are able to shut down (sleep) one hemisphere and not the other, and then alternate. This paper shows humans may have at least in part some of this ability which is revealed in this study. Not sleeping with one eye shut and the other open, but half awake?

From their paper

In Brief Tamaki et al. find that when humans sleep in a novel environment, the default-mode network in one hemisphere is kept more vigilant to wake the sleeper up as a night watch upon detection of deviant stimuli. The regional interhemispheric asymmetric sleep in a novel environment may play a similar protective role to that in marine mammals and birds.

Paper here http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(16)30174-9