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Neurons Humming

Sleep disorders are very common, and they’re particularly problematic for people with Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at UZH, USZ and ETH are developing a device that can help patients sleep more deeply and improve their quality of life.

The SleepLoop headband can boost or curb patients’ deep sleep by playing “pink noise”.

Wondrous things happen in our brains when we sleep, as the neurons start humming away in sync with each other. In our deep sleep cycles, of which there are several each night, the neurons in our brains synchronize their activity and start oscillating slowly in electronic waves. This is when the brain does its housekeeping, so to speak: it processes new information learned during the day and consolidates our memory. Our body and mind can recover and get ready for the day that lies ahead. “The greater these waves, or the higher their amplitude, the deeper and the more restful our sleep is,” says Angelina Maric. The psychologist and biologist at UZH and the UniversityHospital is researching how sleep affects our health and our brain, in particular.

UZH News