Why falling asleep in front of the TV leaves you tired: Unfamiliar voices heighten your brain activity and stop you getting a restful night's sleep, study finds

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

Scientists fitted participants with brain-monitoring equipment while they sleptThey say the brain pays more attention to unfamiliar voices during NREM sleepThis may be an evolutionary trick to help us to better perceive potential threats 

The human brain pays attention to unfamiliar voices during sleep to stay alert to potential threats, a new study reveals. 

Researchers in Austria measured the brain activity of sleeping adults in response to familiar and unfamiliar voices. 

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

Hearing unfamiliar voices when asleep caused the human brain to ‘tune in’ during non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM), the first stage of sleep.

However, researchers didn’t see the effect during REM, the deepest stage of sleep, likely due to micro-structure changes in the brain, they say. 

Global Tech News Daily

Even though our eyes are shut off from what’s around us, the brain continues to monitor the environment as we sleep, balancing the need to protect sleep with the need to wake up. 

One way the it accomplishes this is by selectively responding to unfamiliar voices over familiar ones, according to the experts. 

Global Tech News Daily

This may go back to the long process of human evolution, and the need to quickly awake in the face of potential danger, characterised by less familiar auditory cues.

Overall, the study suggests unfamiliar voices – like those coming from a TV – prevents a restful night’s sleep because the brain is on higher alert. 

The brain pays attention to unfamiliar voices during sleep. This ability allows the brain to balance sleep with responding to environmental cues, according to experts (stock image)

The brain pays attention to unfamiliar voices during sleep. This ability allows the brain to balance sleep with responding to environmental cues, according to experts (stock image)

The study has been led by researchers at the University of Salzburg and published today in the journal JNeurosci. 

‘Our findings highlight discrepancies in brain responses to auditory stimuli based on their relevance to the sleeper,’ the team say in their paper.  

‘Results suggest that the unfamiliarity of voice is a strong promoter of brain responses during NREM sleep.’ 

For the study, researchers recruited 17 volunteers (14 female) with an average age of 22 years.

The volunteers, all of whom had no reported sleep disorders, were fitted with polysomnography equipment during a full night’s sleep.

Polysomnography measures brain waves, respiration, muscle tension, movements, heart activity and more, as they advanced through the different sleep stages. 

Before the start of the experiment, participants were advised to maintain a regular sleep/wake cycle – around eight hours of sleep – for at least four days. 

Before the experiments, volunteers were advised to maintain a regular sleep/wake cycle (around 8h of sleep) for at least four days. Then they spent two nights in the lab - the first they were asleep with polysomnography (PSG) data recorded but they heard no auditory stimulation. For the second night PSG data was recorded while auditory stimulation came from loudspeakers through the night. In both nights, participants were tested during wakefulness before and after sleep

Before the experiments, volunteers were advised to maintain a regular sleep/wake cycle (around 8h of sleep) for at least four days. Then they spent two nights in the lab – the first they were asleep with polysomnography (PSG) data recorded but they heard no auditory stimulation. For the second night PSG data was recorded while auditory stimulation came from loudspeakers through the night. In both nights, participants were tested during wakefulness before and after sleep

As they slept, they were presented with auditory stiumuli via loudspeakers of their own first name and two unfamiliar first names, spoken by either a familiar voice, (such as a parent) or an unfamiliar voice (a stranger).

Researchers found that unfamiliar voices elicited more K-complexes, a type of brain wave linked to sensory perturbances during sleep, compared to familiar voices.

While familiar voices can also trigger K-complexes, only those triggered by unfamiliar voices were found to be accompanied by large-scale changes in brain activity linked to sensory processing, they found.

However, brain responses to the unfamiliar voice occurred less often as the night went on and the voice became more familiar, indicating the brain may still be able to learn during sleep. 

These results suggest K-complexes allow the brain to enter a ‘sentinel processing mode’, where the brain stays asleep but retains the ability to respond to relevant stimuli. 

‘It might be that the sleeping brain learns, through repeated processing, that an initially unfamiliar stimulus poses no immediate threat to the sleeper and consequently decreases its response to it,’ say the experts.

‘Conversely, in a safe sleep environment, the brain might be “expecting” to hear familiar voices and consistently inhibits any response to such stimuli to preserve sleep.’  

Graph shows the difference in the triggered K-complexes and micro-arousals. Left, the difference between unfamiliar voice (UFV) and familiar voice (FV) in the number of triggered K-complexes was significant from 100ms to 800ms. Right, the difference in the number of micro-arousals between FVs and UFVs was significant in the periods from 200 to 400ms, and from 500 to 700ms

Graph shows the difference in the triggered K-complexes and micro-arousals. Left, the difference between unfamiliar voice (UFV) and familiar voice (FV) in the number of triggered K-complexes was significant from 100ms to 800ms. Right, the difference in the number of micro-arousals between FVs and UFVs was significant in the periods from 200 to 400ms, and from 500 to 700ms

As well as K-complexes, presenting auditory stimuli during NREM sleep increased the number of ‘spindles’ and ‘micro-arousals’ in the brain.

‘Spindles are faster brain waves that appear during NREM sleep and are linked to memory consolidation,’ study author Ameen Mohamed at University of Salzburg told MailOnline. 

‘Micro-arousals are periods in sleep during which the EEG signal shifts from slow and synchronised activity of sleep to faster, wake-like activity. 

‘By definition, they last from three seconds to 15 seconds; if they are longer they are considered awakenings. They appear in all sleep stages.’  

However, researchers found no difference in the amount of triggered K-complexes, spindles or micro-arousals between the subject’s own name and unfamiliar names.  

This is interesting because previous research – including one 1999 study by a French team – has demonstrated that the subject’s own name evokes stronger brain responses than other names during sleep.  

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Max Verstappen's brutal comment to Lewis Hamilton over world title loss

Max Verstappen has brutally shown no mercy towards Lewis Hamilton after controversially pipping him to last season’s Formula One title. The 2021 world champion shrugged off talk of feeling sympathy ... Read more »

South Africa: Springboks’ home Test schedule for 2022 confirmed

© PA Images Springboks-huddle-at-training-2021-PA The Springboks are scheduled to face Wales in three Test matches in the Incoming series in July, before hosting the All Blacks and Argentina in the ... Read more »

Quiz: Did Stoke City win, lose or draw in each of these 25 games this season?

© Provided by Football League World Championship – Stoke City v Fulham Stoke City will be eager to get themselves back towards the play-off places in the coming weeks and ... Read more »

Roy Keane to Sunderland: What does he offer? What EFL experience does he have? Can he get them promoted?

Sunderland’s managerial search has come down to two candidates, Football League World exclusively learnt yesterday.  The report states that Roy Keane and Grant McCann are the two options that the ... Read more »

DNCE announce their return and departure of Cole Whittle

© Bang Showbiz Joe Jonas’ DNCE confirm new music as trio Joe Jonas’ DNCE are reuniting without bassist Cole Whittle. The Jonas Brothers star has confirmed the ‘Cake By The ... Read more »

Eight things you should know about beloved North East rock star Sam Fender

North Shields rock star Sam Fender is up for a number of coveted Brit Awards at tonight’s ceremony, after a fantastic couple of years saw him shoot into stardom. Sam ... Read more »

Gerard Butler boards new heist thriller Just Watch Me

© Bang Showbiz Gerard Butler to star in heist thriller Gerard Butler is to play a thief in the new heist thriller ‘Just Watch Me’. The 52-year-old actor has boarded ... Read more »

Driver injured by shards of glass after brick thrown at moving train in Greater Manchester

The driver - who has not been named - was taken to hospital for treatment and is now recovering at home. Read more »

Sam Fender's former school teacher wishes him good luck ahead of Brit Awards

Sam Fender’s former head of sixth form has shared a kind message ahead of tonight’s Brit Awards ceremony where the North Shields star is up for three awards. The frontman ... Read more »

BP swings to highest annual profit in eight years

Oil giant BP has posted its highest annual profit in eight years amid mounting pressure on the sector as the cost-of-living crisis deepens. The group revealed it swung to a ... Read more »

2023 Range Rover Sport Spied Up Close With Thinner Camouflage

© Motor1.com Copyright 2023 Range Rover Sport spy photo It’s already looking more athletic than its bigger brother. It was two years ago when our spies first stumbled upon the ... Read more »

We simulated Burnley vs Manchester United to get a score prediction

Manchester United will be looking to put their FA Cup woes behind them and bounce back with a win on Tuesday, as they face Burnley in the Premier League. Anthony ... Read more »

Afcon 2021: Salah’s ego questioned by Murphy after Egypt final defeat to Senegal

Former England and Liverpool player Danny Murphy has questioned the decision to have Mohamed Salah wait for the fifth penalty against Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations final on ... Read more »

Derby County v Hull City: Latest team news, Is there a live stream? What time is kick-off?

Derby County host Hull City at Pride Park this evening as both sides look to get back to winning ways in the Championship.  Shota Arveladze was handed his first defeat ... Read more »

Bruce Mouat and Jennifer Dodds suffer heavy defeat in bronze medal match

© PA Wire Great Britain’s Jennifer Dodds and Bruce Mouat during their 9-3 bronze medal match defeat against Sweden (Andrew Milligan/PA Images) – PA Wire Great Britain’s hopes of winning ... Read more »

People are absolutely disgusted as disturbing footage of Kurt Zouma kicking a cat goes viral

Social media users have been left absolutely disgusted after disturbing footage of Kurt Zouma kicking his pet cat. The West Ham and France defender has issued an apology after footage ... Read more »

Eileen Gu ‘breaking boundaries’ but contradictions heighten tensions after gold

Eileen Gu is already the face of Vogue, Victoria’s Secret, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany but now she’s the face of these Olympics too – with medal bling to rival those ... Read more »

Man City legend Sergio Aguero opens up on fear after heart scare and jokes he is 'Ironman'

Sergio Aguero has recalled the fear he felt after being rushed to hospital when he appeared short of breath while playing for Barcelona. The Manchester City legend had only just ... Read more »

Royal Navy's £3bn nuclear headache to last DECADES - two dozen ships face scrapheap

Storage and maintenance costs of vessels withdrawn from service amount to about £30 million per year, news website Navy Lookout reports in its latest technical briefing. Continued delays are expected ... Read more »

‘Pay up!' Man, 85, furious as his state pension is ‘frozen' at £70 per week

State pension payments usually increase each year by the highest of 2.5 percent, average earnings or inflation under the triple lock. Even though this policy has been temporarily suspended, most ... Read more »

Northumberland to host Dark Skies Festival 2022 - and it starts this week!

Northumberland is set to celebrate officially having ‘the most pristine dark skies in England’ with the return of the Northumberland Dark Skies Festival. Following the success of last year’s virtual ... Read more »

Coworth Park review: relaxing, tranquil and dreamlike

© Provided by The Week UK An exterior view of Coworth Park from the croquet lawn Doing as little as possible is the order of the day at this swanky ... Read more »

Lanzarote pleads with Spain to drop entry rules for Britons' holidays - ‘let them come'

The Tourism Federation of Lanzarote (FTL) has called for Spain to relax the travel rules for British tourists. It said that vaccine requirements are ruining the winter season for Britons. ... Read more »

Picture books for children – reviews

Young children’s counting books can (whisper it) be a bit dull. They’re brilliant, of course, at helping under-fives learn their numbers. But turning page after page of, say, farmyard animals ... Read more »

Roundup of Olympic gold medals from Tuesday, Feb. 8

© Provided by Associated Press – Sports Gold medalist Austria’s Benjamin Karl celebrates during the venue ceremony for the men’s parallel giant slalom at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. ... Read more »

NHS to prescribe ‘game-changer’ weight loss drug to tackle obesity crisis

© PA Wire NHS weight loss programme for obese patients The NHS is to prescribe a new weight loss jab in order to tackle the obesity crisis in England. The ... Read more »

Eddie Howe breaks Newcastle's silence on failed transfer for Manchester United's Jesse Lingard

© Clive Brunskill/Getty Images. Opportunities have been hard to come by for Jesse Lingard at Manchester United this season. Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe has admitted to being a ... Read more »

Update emerges after Newcastle United’s January interest in Bournemouth player

Newcastle United remain interested in Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly, with the Premier League outfit set to offer a deal for the 23-year-old regardless of what level of football they will be ... Read more »

Former Rangers star gives club backing over transfer interest in 'very promising player'

Former Rangers star Ronald de Boer has given the club his backing over the possible signing of Danilho Doekhi. © Danilho Doekhi has been strongly linked with Rangers. (Photo by ... Read more »

Newcastle United owners can learn Liverpool lesson as Man Utd show what not to do

Newcastle will have to replicate last month’s lavish spending in future windows if they are to achieve their dream of mixing it with the Premier League big boys. Five new ... Read more »

SMALL CAP SHARE IDEAS: Gartner Cycle points to upswing for microbiome pioneer OptiBiotix Health

Take a good look at the chart below. It’s called the Gartner Hype Cycle. It’s so named because it represents the distilled learning of the research group Gartner on the ... Read more »

Paul Heckingbottom explains the role Sheffield United supporters can play in the club’s play-off push

Sheffield United have carried on their resurgence up the table since Slavisa Jokanovic’s departure and they look more likely than ever to make an assault on the play-off places. The ... Read more »

Kurt Zouma apologies after former Everton loanee filmed kicking cat

© Visionhaus/Getty Images Kurt Zouma of West Ham United during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United at Molineux Former Everton defender Kurt Zouma will reportedly ... Read more »

Grant McCann to Sunderland: What does he offer? What EFL experience does he have? Can he get them promoted?

A new Sunderland head coach is expected to be appointed this week and Football League World understands that the search for Lee Johnson’s replacement has been narrowed down to just ... Read more »

32-y/o starts: The predicted Cardiff City XI to face Peterborough on Wednesday night

Cardiff City will be looking to bounce back from their FA Cup defeat to Liverpool by picking up a positive result in their upcoming Sky Bet Championship game with Peterborough ... Read more »

How to watch every Premier League match on TV this week and kick-off times

© Michael Regan/Getty Images Nine Premier League midweek fixtures will be shown live on BT Sport across Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The Premier League returns this midweek with most teams ... Read more »

Noel Whelan predicts Lewis will ‘not be part of the squad’ next season

© Stu Forster/Getty Images Sport Jamal Lewis – 4 Jamal Lewis was controversially left out of Newcastle United’s 25-man Premier League squad for Matt Targett and reports suggested he would ... Read more »

Pundits agree over Manchester United vs Burnley result prediction

© Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Scott McTominay scores against Burnley earlier this season Manchester United return to action in the Premier League this evening as they travel to Burnley. Ralf Rangnick’s ... Read more »

Steven Gerrard to repeat Rangers trick at Aston Villa amid stunning Cameron Archer form

Former Premier League goalkeeper Paul Robinson has backed Aston Villa loanee Cameron Archer to force his way into Steven Gerrard’s first-team plans next season. Archer is currently playing his football ... Read more »

Newcastle United vs Everton: Lee Ryder's Premier League preview

Newcastle United winger Allan Saint-Maximin got it right this week when he said that draws are no longer much use to the much-maligned Magpies. Every point in the Premier League ... Read more »