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Karon Woods | karonwoods
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1 year ago

What's Happening in Your Brain When You Can't Stay Awake

Nov 24th 2015 at 10:56 PM

There has been time when you are in the middle of something important like a meeting, seminar or your classroom and you are just not able to keep your eyes open as you are feeling too sleepy and dozing off. You are not paying attention to anything that your boss is saying as you have got very less amount of sleep last night and your eyelids are closing by themselves and how much you struggle to keep them open, you are just not able to do so. You try to focus on the things in order to get the details, but the sleep overwhelms you and you slip away in the merry land of dreams.

In a new research that is done in Singapore it has been discovered that what exactly goes on in the brain when you doze off momentarily. A team of neuroscientists used eighteen healthy individuals for their study and kept them awake all night in the psych lab. After 22 hours with no shut-eye, the team asked participants to lie in a dark brain scanner to undergo two six-minute scans. The challenge was to keep their eyes open the entire time.

As assumed, the participants did dozed off but the they were forced to keep their eyes open as the message reminded them again and again. When their eyes were closed the researchers observed participants’ brain activity, which they later compared to non drowsy participants who were told to close their eyes of their own volition. This secondary group was used to make sure the brain activity was not simply a product of the eyes closing. They found that whose eyes were closed they entered micro sleep causing activity in the thalamus to decrease.

The thalamus is the gateway of the brain that filters sensory information and sends it to other, higher brain areas to be processed. When participants were closing their eyes, they were shutting down their brains to all outside information as you would during sleep. They were shocked to find that involuntary closing of the eyes ignited lot of activities across the brain even the participants were restful. Most of these areas they saw fire were associated with processing sensory information, body movement, and emotions, including self-awareness and memory.

Researchers observed activation in frontal and rear parts of the brain known to help us pay attention. This, however, was not observed in participants who were wakeful, and opening their eyes voluntarily. They also believed that the activation in regions of the brain that allows us to pay attention is consequently trying to get us to stay awake, despite our best efforts. It seems that your brain is playing just as much of a tug-of-war between rest and wakefulness as you are while you struggle to remain awake and suggested modafinil buy online uk. What this means is those who were temporarily snoozing described experiencing strange and vivid feelings and sights, which researchers now believe is connected to the activation of multiple brain regions associated with emotion and sensory processing.

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