Is music the secret to a good night's sleep?

Listening to music while you sleep could improve your memory, according to a new study.

Researchers have discovered that playing sounds synchronised to the rhythm of the slow brain oscillations of people who are asleep enhances these oscillations which boosts their memory and improves the quality of their sleep.

It has long been known that slow oscillations in brain activity, which occur during so-called slow-wave sleep, are critical for retaining memories. However, it has only just been established that sound can be used to enhance these oscillations.
Co-author Dr Jan Born, of the University of Tübingen in Germany, said: ‘The beauty lies in the simplicity of applying auditory stimulation at low intensities. This approach is both practical and ethical if compared, for example, with electrical stimulation. Therefore, it portrays a straightforward tool for clinical settings to enhance sleep rhythms.’

Dr Born and his colleagues conducted tests on 11 people during which they exposed the participants to sound stimulations.  When the volunteers were exposed to stimulating sounds that were in sync with the brain's slow oscillation rhythm, they were better able to remember word associations they had learned the evening before.

Stimulation out of phase with the brain's slow oscillation rhythm was ineffective.

Source  - Daily Mail

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