You know the type. You may even be one of them. They are the fortunate few who can sleep through anything. Bad weather. An early-morning rooster crowing. Things that go bump. You name it. It’s no problem for them. They seem to “miss out” on all the little things that keep other people up at night. Or, at the very least – the things that wake others up at night.
Have You Ever Wondered Why They Sleep Through Everything?
Seriously, if you could bottle this stuff up and sell it, you’d be rich. According to the August 10, 2010 edition of Current Biology, there may be a scientific explanation for the reason some people sleep despite symphonies of sound going off in the next room or outside the window.
Brainwaves are to blame according to the article, which explains, “We found that individuals who generated more sleep spindles during a quiet night of sleep went on to exhibit higher tolerance for noise during a subsequent, noisy night of sleep. This result shows that the sleeping brain’s spontaneous activity heralds individual resilience to disruptive stimuli.”
The theory, according to 9News.com in Colorado, about brain spindles, has been around for quite some time. This research, however, is the first definitive proof that that theorists have been on the right track all along. The more spindles the brain produces in an average night, the more sounds the sleeper is able to block out. The downside however, is that researchers do not yet know why some people produce more spindles than others. Until this is known, it leaves some people tossing pillows – a little harder than necessary – at night in an attempt to wake blissfully sleeping partners.
The bottom line is that the sound indicators that wake other people up so easily are simply being filtered out by the brains of those who sleep through everything. Since the brains of these “heavy sleepers” aren’t even registering the sounds, they sleep through them.
What About Light Sleepers?
Do they just have bigger brains? Wouldn’t it be nice, for all the light sleepers out there, if that were the case? However, the fact that every noise on the planet seems to wake you up at night is a sign that your brain is continuing to process information and stimuli from the environment even when the rest of your body is sound asleep.
While there isn’t a method, yet, to boost the creation of brain spindles while sleeping, there are a few things you can do that will help create a buffer between you and the sounds keeping you awake at night – assuming you’re among the many light sleepers out there. These sounds to sleep to include things like:
- White noise machines
- Running fans or dehumidifiers at night
- Investing in ear plugs
- Tunes to help you sleep
- Creating a bedtime routine or ritual that signals the brain to prepare for sleep
They may not look like big deals but they make a huge difference. Put these tips to work for you and see what a difference it makes for your ability to sleep through the night. You may even find yourself resenting your partner’s ability to sleep through drum parades marching outside his or her window a little less as you become better able to sleep through the night yourself.
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