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Do you have trouble sleeping at night? While there may be many sleep solutions available out there such as ergonomic pillows, medications, or sleep apnea mask that help you breathe, a new study has found that your brain may be the culprit. The University of Tubingen, in Germany, found that syncing sounds, while you sleep, to the rhythmic pulse of brainwaves helps people sleep.
Many elements of life have rhythmic patterns. The Earth rotates on its axis giving us night and day while it rotates around the sun giving us the changing seasons. The chambers of our heart constrict in rhythmic patterns with our artery’s to provide blood to our brain and the rest of our body, and even our brain’s electrical signals have distinct patterns associated with them. When we sleep, these signals slow down and create different patterns.
In an effort to see how these signals relate to our sleep and memory retention, the University of Tubingen held a sleep study. 11 people were subjected to sound stimuli on different nights. Before the subjects went to sleep they were given word associations. When the sound stimulations were synchronized to their brains slow oscillation rhythm, subjects were found to sleep better and remember the word associations given to them the night before. On those nights where the sound stimuli were not in-sync, subjects found it harder to sleep and had little memory retention of the word associations.
These types of studies can help provide cures for insomnia in the near future. The problem currently is that the brains rhythm needs to be monitored, and when an “Up State” is detected in the deep sleep oscillation pattern, the stimuli is delivered to “Calm” it, thus keeping the subject in a deep sleep. Taking this technology, minimizing it and implementing it in homes in the form of a device, is currently being looked into. The device would have to record the person’s brain signal, then access an online database for an audio signal to match the oscillation.
This same technology could be used to keep people awake by mimicking the oscillation waves associated with alertness. This could have a serious impact on the medical drug market; not to mention the caffeine market. It’s a safe way to increase learning retention, sleep better and keep yourself awake, when need be, without the use of unnatural drugs or energy drinks. Although, having your brain signals linked to the internet does begin to sound a little like the Matrix, some people may find it invading. What do you think or how do you feel about this innovative technology? Let us know in the comments below.