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Light-blocking window shades are one way to treat sleeplessness shown in study
Apr 28 2011
People who have trouble getting to sleep, or staying asleep without tossing and turning, may benefit from neuroscience research under way at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).
Light-blocking window shades may be necessary for easily disturbed sleepers to get a good night's rest.
A research team at MGH found that a brain rhythm normally associated with wakefulness can become intensified during sleep and increase the chance of being awakened by noise or other disturbances.
The research team tested 13 volunteers in the hospital sleep lab by using electroencephalography (EEG) rhythms while they slept and repeated background noises at intervals and increasingly louder levels. The EEG measurements of the sleepers' alpha signal, a specific brain rhythm, showed how easily the volunteers could be disturbed.
Published in the journal PloS One, the study may lead to more effective treatments for people who suffer from insomnia or are too easily disturbed once they get to sleep.
Other steps that can be taken to insure a good night's sleep include creating a restful atmosphere by shutting off TVs and other electronics for a period before bedtime and installing light-blocking window shades. Roller shades that fit a variety of decors come in blackout fabrics that provide the light control needed to create a darker room.
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