On 5th September we had the pleasure of welcoming back the cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Katy Bellamy who is always a popular speaker. She kept us awake (well, most of us) with a talk on “The Seven Ages of Sleep”. Essentially it was a description of how the brain develops as we grow older and ages just as the rest of the body does. Anybody who is a parent knows a child’s sleeping pattern can be exhausting. Children may sleep for 19 hours a day but that period may not coincide with yours because the body’s master clock has not developed to follow the Circadian rhythm. At the age of five a child needs 12-14 hours sleep. Teenagers can be the bane of their parents’ (and others’) lives because of their irrational behaviour and for not getting up when they should. It was explained that the pre-frontal cortex is the last part of the brain to mature and this is the part which determines social skills. The “difficult” period may be between 8 and 25, boys maturing later than girls. Another factor is the number of distractions preventing sleep such as computers, TVs, mobile phones etc. in bedrooms. After retirement and into the final stage of life – “The Twilight Zone” which covers most Probus members, the sleep sensor may not function as well as it used to, causing primary insomnia and Katy gave us some advice as to lifestyle, emphasising that it is a fallacy that older people need less sleep. As usual, this was a fascinating insight into the workings of the brain and the importance of healthy sleep to well-being, delivered in an entertaining way and laced with plenty of practical advice. We meet at 10:00 every Thursday at The Boathouse, Evesham Rowing Club. Our speaker on September 12th will be our member Peter Marshall who will be talking about his life. On 19th September Barry Baldelli will be speaking about Evesham Abbey - Past, Present and Future. Full details can be found on our website www.eveshamprobus.co.uk Alan Smith