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It is tough for anyone to realize this when someone’s alarm begins to sound in the morning and they wake from whatever dream they were having. However, this entire process of waking up has been discovered to be one complex chemical process that continues in one’s brain as they wake up. Scientists claim that they have managed to figure which region of the brain accounts for concluding this phase of sleep and putting the brain in a wakeful state. Swedish researchers focused on a particular neural circuit which is situated between the thalamus and hypothalamus. They prompted quick awakenings and longer periods of wakefulness with the help of light pulses while testing this on mice.
One does wonder what benefits being able to wake up from a perfectly nice and cozy sleep would have. The researchers believe that this would actually assist people who are suffering from sleep disorders and in extreme cases those who are suffering from long term coma. Antoine Adamantidis at the University of Bern mentioned that sleep disorder implications go well beyond just mood swings and daytime sleepiness. Increased risk of heart attack, metabolic disorder and hormonal imbalance are some of the most common effects of this.
The study also helped researchers test the opposite on the mice. As soon as they shut down the pulses, they put the mice in a state of deep sleep. Adamantidis believes that this is certainly a breakthrough but there is still time needed to design better therapeutic strategies which can perfect the process. At the same time, this raises hopes for people suffering from sleep disorder which is said to be up to seventy million people in the United States, alone. The researchers were pleased to report that they could even bring the mice out of the effects of unaesthetic using sufficient stimulation.
In the long run, this study could help patients suffering from other disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s as well as schizophrenia. Thus, it could target many more health areas which remain unaddressed in the modern day.