What happens when we sleep? Scientists and experts have weighed in on how the human brain behaves during sleep.
Earlier people believed that the human body remains physically and mentally inactive while sleeping. However, later studies and research claimed that the body and brain keep working throughout the night, which is the key to health.
Now, a latest study describes how humans respond to sounds, specifically ‘unfamiliar’ sounds when they are asleep as Austrian researchers measured the brain activity of sleeping adults to assess whether they were familiar. and how they react to unfamiliar sounds.
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According to the study, led by researchers from the University of Salzburg and published in the journal Genurosky, the human brain pays attention to ‘unfamiliar voices’ during sleep to alert them of potential dangers.
There are two main types of sleep when we are at rest – rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. NREM is the first stage of sleep and the study found that during this stage, the human brain is ‘tuned in’ by hearing unfamiliar sounds while asleep.
The study sheds light on how the brain continues to monitor the environment in which we sleep, even when our eyes are closed.
Overall, the study described how unfamiliar sounds – such as sounds from TV, music, etc. – can prevent a restful and peaceful night’s sleep because, as mentioned, the brain is on high alert and paying attention to sounds. Used to be.
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“Our findings highlight discrepancies in brain responses to auditory stimuli depending on the sleeper’s relevance,” the team said in their paper.
“The results suggest that voice unfamiliarity is a strong promoter of brain responses during NREM sleep,” he said.
Researchers recruited 17 volunteers, 14 of whom were women, for the study. Their average age was 22 years and the volunteers had no sleep disorders. He was fitted with polysomnography equipment during a full night’s sleep.