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Sleep? How Your Brain Wakes You Up

Sleep study

By Carolyn GregoireHuffington PostSouthFloridaReporter.com, Jan. 1, 2016 –  Recent research has made huge strides in demystifying sleep — why we need it, how to get more of it, and what happens when we don’t get enough of it. But there’s still a lot that remains largely unknown, including the way brain circuits control the sleep-wake cycle. Until now, that is.

In a landmark study, neuroscientists at the University of Bern in Switzerland discovered a pattern of brain activity that is responsible for waking us up from light sleep and anesthesia.

“These findings identify a new network and refine our understanding of the brain network that regulates sleep and wake cycle,” Dr. Antoine Adamantidis, a neuroscientist at the university and the study’s lead author, told The Huffington Post in an email.

The study, which was published on Dec. 21 in the journal Nature Neuroscience, showed that activating the circuit associated with the rhythms of electrical activity that occur during sleep — which is located between the hypothalamus and thalamus brain regions — causes rapid wakefulness. While, inhibiting the circuit deepens sleep.

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