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Study: Brains replay activities during sleep

Mind Replay

Mind Replay

While we sleep, our brain is on to housekeeping. It is weeding through the experiences of the day and identifying stuff that needs to be put into long-term storage.

A new study which involved implanting subjects with Brain-Computer interfaces (BCI) proves that the brain is mentally replaying the day’s activities.

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Study: Brains replay activities during sleep

Study: Brains replay activities during sleep

https://bigthink.com/mind-brain/memory-consolidation-sleep?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1

bigthink.com

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Key Ideas

Mind Replay

While we sleep, our brain is on to housekeeping. It is weeding through the experiences of the day and identifying stuff that needs to be put into long-term storage.

A new study which involved implanting subjects with Brain-Computer interfaces (BCI) proves that the brain is mentally replaying the day’s activities.

The Mind At Work

  • During the day, all our senses are busy collecting information, which includes sights, smells and sounds.
  • When we sleep, the new memory traces are consolidated and ‘de-fragmented’ into a permanent form of long-term storage, combining the recent experience with existing semantic memory networks.
  • This also proves that when we sleep after learning something, we tend to remember it better as it gets processed and digested inside our minds.

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Slow-wave sleep (deep sleep) – SWS

About 80% of our sleeping is of the SWS variety, identified by slow brain waves, relaxed muscles and deep breathing.

Deep sleep is important for the consolidation of memories. New experience...

Rapid eye movement (dreaming) - REM

Dreaming accounts for 20% of our sleeping time.

The length of dreams can vary from a few seconds to almost an hour. During REM sleep, the brain is highly active. The muscles are paralyzed, and the heart rate increases. Breathing can become erratic. 

Sleep quantity

Although eight hours is the common mention, optimum sleep can vary from person to person and from age to age.

One review that worked through 320 research articles concluded 7 - 9 hours of sleep are enough for adults. According to experts, too little or too much sleep can both have a negative impact on your health.

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Our molecular clock inside our cells aims to keep us in sync with the sun

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The lifestyle imbalance

Thomas Edison said that sleep is "a bad habit." Like Edison, we seem to think of sleep as an adversary and try to fight it at every turn. The average American sleeps less than the recommended seven hours per night, mostly due to electric lights, television, computers, and smartphones. 

However, we are ignoring the intricate journey we're designed to take when we sleep.

Stage One Sleep

When we fall asleep, the nearly 86 billion neurons in our brain starts to fire evenly and rhythmically. Our sensory receptors become muffled at the same time.

The first stage of shallow sleep lasts for about 5 minutes.

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Binaural beats
Binaural beats

Binaural beats are an auditory illusion that has stress-busing properties. Proponents claim that listening to binaural beats can boost focus, promote relaxation, and reduce stress and anxie...

Explaining binaural beats
  • Binaural beats is a perceptual illusion that happens when two slightly different frequencies (notes) are played into each ear separately, usually using headphones.
  • The resonance between the two frequencies is interpreted as a third sound - or binaural beat - and is heard as a frequency between the two played frequencies.
  • The claim is that this third frequency prompts brain cells to begin firing at the same frequency, which purportedly is similar to the frequency of brain waves that occur during deep sleep at our most relaxed states.
Different types of brain waves

Specific frequencies are thought to be involved in specific cognitive tasks.

  • During deep sleep, the predominant brain activity occurs with frequencies between 1 and 4 Hertz (delta waves.) Delta waves are associated with learning and motivation.
  • Theta waves (4-7Hz) are linked to memory and emotional regulation.

Brain entrainment - where brain cells fire at the same frequency - is a real effect that happens in response to particular rhythmic frequencies perceived by our senses. A deep-pitched musical tone can cause your brain cells to start firing at the same frequency.

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