How often do you awake at night or how often your brain is awakened at sleep? A recent study shows that the brain is awakened by a stress transmitter more than 100 times each night.
The new study from the University of Copenhagen said that stress transmitter noradrenaline leads to wake up often throughout the night. One of the first authors of the study Celia Kjærby from the Center for Translational Neuromedicine said that their study showed noradrenaline caused one to wake up more than 100 times a night.
“Neurologically, you do wake up, because your brain activity during these very brief moments is the same as when you are awake. But the moment is so brief that the sleeper will not notice,” explains Ph.D. Student Mie Andersen, the second first author of the study.
Though the study was conducted in Mice, the researchers said tat the results are most likely applicable to humans since they focused on fundamental biological mechanisms shared by all mammals.
Noradrenaline is a stress hormone and transmitter substance. It is associated with the body’s fight or flight response. It is related to adrenaline, and levels may increase during stress, but it also helps you stay focused.
SLEEP; STRESS TRANSMITTER NORADRENALINE
Professor Maiken Nedergaard, who has led the study, said, “we have found the essence for the part of sleep that makes us wake up rested and which enables us to remember what we learned the day before. We have found that the refreshing part of sleep is driven by waves of noradrenaline. The very short awakenings are created by waves of norepinephrine, which are also so important for memory.,”
Nedergaard also opined that the short awakenings reset the brain to get ready to store memory when one dives back into sleep.
Previous research has suggested that noradrenaline, which is associated with stress, is inactive during sleep. Therefore, the researchers were surprised to see how active noradrenaline really is during sleep.
The new study shows that when one sleep, the level of noradrenaline in the body is constantly increasing and decreasing in a wavelike pattern. “High levels of noradrenaline mean that the brain is briefly awake, while low levels of noradrenaline mean that you are asleep. That is, your noradrenaline levels and degree of ‘awakeness’ are connected and constantly changing,” the authors said.
“Approximately 30 seconds pass from one ‘top’ to the next, which means that your noradrenaline levels are constantly changing. At the same time, we could tell that the deeper the ‘valley’, i.e. the better the sleep, the higher the subsequent top, and the higher degree of awakening,” says Mie Andersen.
“This shows that perhaps you do not need to worry if you wake up at night. Of course, it is not good to be sleepless for extended periods, but our study suggests that short-term awakenings are a natural part of sleep phases related to memory. It may even mean that you have slept really well,” Celia Kjærby adds.
Sleep is essential to the body. Although one may feel that sleep simply rests the tired body, it is not just so. It plays a critical role in brain as well as physical functioning.
Sleep is as essential to the body. Although one may feel that sleep simply rests the tired body, it is not just so. It plays a critical role in brain as well as physical functioning.