“During sleep, the brain produces a series of electromagnetic waves. The majority of these waves are generated deep in the brain from portions called thalamus and cortex. Research suggests the central purpose of these waves is to drown out potentially disruptive external stimuli and promote deeper sleep states.
Scientists can use electrodes and diagnostic tools to record these waves, and when they do, the activity resembles the squiggly lines of a lie detector test or seismograph. Researchers refer to these lines as spindles.
“We found that those who had the lowest spindle activity tended to develop more disturbances in response to stress, when comparing sleep quality at the beginning of the semester and the end of the school semester…We are not all equally armed when facing stress, in terms of how we can manage our sleep. Some people are more vulnerable than others.”
- Study: Sleep spindles predict stress-related increases in sleep disturbances (Frontiers in Human Neuroscience)
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