Dr. Raj Dasgupta, an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, and a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, said the right side of the brain is associated with being artistic and creative. The left side is more academic and logical.
Dasgupta, who was not involved with the research, said that the testing technologies that the authors utilized -- the imaging, for example -- are not commonly used in clinical medicine, but more often in research medicine. He hypothesized loosely that maybe the logic side of the brain is staying alert due to the new surroundings, but he said it's too early to draw conclusions.
"I would not take this data and generalize it to the general public," Dasgupta told CBS News.
He said while the study is interesting, the default mode network, the area of the brain having a disruption in the study, "is very controversial to begin with."
He also noted that the researchers monitored slow-wave sleep patterns, which are not the same across all age groups.
"Everyone has slow-wave sleep, but as all humans get older, we lose slow-wave sleep. We have most of our slow-wave sleep when we're growing. Slow-wave sleep secretes growth hormones. It makes me wonder if can we apply this to older individuals," Dasgupta said.
He said it's "intriguing" research but that more investigation is needed.