In 2013, Jan Born made an important step in the field of sleep. Jan Born is a prominent neuroscientist at the University of Tübingen in Germany. He proved indeed that a certain type of noise, pink noise, has an impact on the slow oscillations of sleep, in other words on deep sleep. This is the culmination of a decade of research in neuroscience on the stimulation of deep sleep. The first discovery in this field dates namely from 2005. And the stimulations were then electric. It took finally eight years, until 2013, to replicate it with an element that is far more harmless: sound.
The Thalamus, a metronome of deep sleep.
When we’re awake, neurons work at different rates, sending messages all over the place. As sleep deepens, they tend to coordinate more. Their activity is gradually synchronized. The paroxysm of this synchronization is reached in the deep sleep phase. Entire neuronal zones go out and then light up successively, in rhythm.
At the initiative of this synchronization, the cortex, the headquarters of abstract intelligence. It is helped by another part of the brain particularly involved in sleep: the thalamus. Located in the depths of the brain, the thalamus is at the same time the receiver, the filter and the transmitter of all types of impulses (sensory, motor and nervous). It plays the role of conductor of the neuronal zones.
During deep sleep, the thalamus will work to make whole areas of the cortex work in a coordinated way. To do this, it provides them with waves of activity, in rhythm, a little like a metronome.
Pink noise, thalamus ally and deep sleep optimizer.
With its natural sensitivity to noise, we can influence the thalamus by means of sound stimulation. The “pink noise” is the type of noise favored to influence the thalamus. Its high spectral density makes it more impacting.
Played at specific moments of deep sleep, these noise stimulations based on pink noise have the effect of “boosting” the impulses of the thalamus and optimize their rhythm. This helps to synchronize more neurons at once. And more intensely. This result is an increase in the amplitude and density of slow waves. They are the main indicators of the quality of deep sleep. Discover now how DREEM uses pink noise to optimize your sleep.
The left curve shows the average deep sleep. The right one shows the effect of slow wave stimulation by Dreem. By amplifying your slow waves at the right time, Dreem expands and amplifies your deep sleep.