Study Puts New Spin on 'Sound Sleep'04/11/13
THURSDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Playing a certain type of
sound stimulation during sleep might help improve your memory, a
small new study suggests.
Slow oscillations in brain activity occur during slow-wave sleep
and are critical for retaining memories. This study found that
playing sounds synchronized to the rhythm of those oscillations
enhances the oscillations and boosts memory.
The findings suggest an easy and noninvasive way to enhance
memory, according to the authors of the study, which was published
online April 11 in the journal
"The beauty lies in the simplicity to apply auditory stimulation at low intensities -- an approach that is both practical and ethical, if compared, for example, with electrical stimulation -- and therefore portrays a straightforward tool for clinical settings to enhance sleep rhythms," Dr. Jan Born, of the University of Tubingen, in Germany, said in a journal news release.
Born and his colleagues conducted their tests on 11 people while
they slept on different nights. When exposed to stimulating sounds
that were in sync with the brain's slow oscillation rhythm, the
participants were better able to remember word associations they
had learned the evening before.
Sound stimulation out of sync with the brain's slow oscillation
rhythm was ineffective in improving memory.
The researchers said the sound stimulation technique might also
help improve sleep.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health explains how sleep
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