Sleep sounds are so familiar these days, you might think they’d never change.
But a new research paper published in Sleep Medicine has found that some people with sleep disorders may find them useful for helping them sleep.
Sleep sounds are very similar to the sounds of a bell or a doorbell.
The difference, however, is that these sounds aren’t really sounds, but a collection of electrical impulses that are emitted as part of the brain’s electrical activity.
A sound emitted by a bell, for example, can be associated with an alarm or other sound, but an alarm does not trigger a sound.
Sleep disorders are characterized by sleep disorders in which people lack the capacity to fall asleep or fall into a deep sleep.
In a study published in the journal Sleep Medicine, researchers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill looked at how a group of people with a sleep disorder might respond to a sleep sound.
The researchers used a sleep-tracking device called the Electroencephalography (EEG) to record the electrical activity in a group’s brains while they were asleep.
They found that the electrical responses of people in the sleep-deprived group to sound sounds correlated with their sleep disorders.
“People with sleep difficulties are more sensitive to electrical activity than those with normal sleep, but their responses are not quite as robust,” said lead researcher Anupam Datta, a professor of sleep medicine and psychology at UNC-Chaplow.
“People with normal and sleep-related disorders might be able to detect an alarm by hearing it, but the signals they detect are more likely to be noise than a signal related to sleep.”
This means that the sound of an alarm is a kind of “wakeup” sound that is similar to those of other alarm systems that can trigger sleep disorders, Datta explained.
“If we are able to reduce the volume of these sounds, we could help people with these disorders in the future,” Datta said.
The study also found that people with certain sleep disorders might respond more strongly to the sound than others.
For example, people with narcolepsy, a disorder in which the brain cannot fall asleep, might respond differently to a sound that sounded like a door opening or shutting than someone with a narcolytic disorder.
“The researchers are looking at different types of auditory signals that might be helpful in different types, and they have used other techniques, such as ultrasound, to help them determine which kinds of signals are helpful,” Dattas said.
“We think this research adds a whole new level of insight into the ways in which we can use auditory signals to improve sleep.”
While this research has provided a solid foundation for understanding sleep disorders and the types of sound that may be helpful for them, it also suggests that people who have sleep disorders can use sound to improve their quality of sleep, Dattamas said, by identifying sound cues that help them fall asleep.
“I think this study highlights that the ability to identify sound cues in the environment, whether it be sound of a door or a bell in the house, may be very helpful for people who are sleep-dependent, and to help with sleep,” Datto said.