Monday, May 28, 2007

Brain Stimulation Could End Insomnia

By Andy Dolan
Source: The Daily Mail

For anyone who struggles to get a good night's rest, it could be a dream come true.

Scientists have invented a technique which they say could help trigger deep sleep in the most chronic insomniac.

Using medical equipment, they stimulated the brain with harmless magnetic pulses.
These penetrate the nerves that control a type of deep sleep called "slow-wave activity" and made their brains produce these waves.

Researchers believe the same principles could be used to create a machine which can electronically stimulate a deep-sleep power nap. This mimics the restorative benefits of eight hours of rest.

Professor Giulio Tononi led the research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the U.S.
He sent the magnetic signal through the skull into a specific part of the brain.

There, it activated electrical impulses. In response to each burst of magnetism, the sleeping volunteers' brains produced slow waves typical of deep sleep. "We don't know why, but this was a very good place (in the brain) to evoke big waves that clearly travel through every part of the brain.


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