Researchers at the American University weak magnetic pulses used to stimulate the brains of volunteers and found they were able to trigger the type of brain waves that are normally found in the deepest sleep.
There are few things as frustrating as not being able to fall asleep.
Insomnia affects nearly everyone at some point and taken a heavy toll on society in lost productivity and reduces mood.
Now science seems to be on the verge of a chemical without a remedy for insomnia, using magnetism to send people to sleep.
They now hope to adapt the technology to create devices that cure insomnia at the touch of a button.
Machines capable of reducing the amount of time needed for people to receive refereshing sleep are also a possibility.
Giulio Tononi, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health conducted the study of the magnet, which was recently published in a journal reviewed by peers.
However, work has been greeted with caution by Australian scientists believe sleep that much more research is needed to determine if the subjects are fully enjoying the benefits of deep sleep.
The work focuses on inducing the slow-wave sleep, which seems to be related to the restoration of good humor and our ability to learn, think and remember.
Scientists often divide the time we spend in sleep paradoxical sleep rapid eye movement when we can see and dreaming occurs, and non-REM sleep.
The first phase of non-REM sleep is considered the gateway to sleep, where awareness of the world around the person down.
The second stage occupies about half the total time spent sleeping and is characterized by an awareness of the outside world disappears.
In the third phase of delta waves associated with deep sleep appear. This step is followed by four, the deepest sleep. Slow wave sleep is associated with stages three and four.
Tononi study participants were allowed to sleep, and then subjected to transcranial magnetic stimulation, a procedure that sends a magnetic pulse through the skull.
Test subjects immediately began the production of slow-wave characteristics of deep sleep.
`` With a single pulse, we were able to induce a wave that looks like waves of the brain normally during sleep,''said the professor, in a statement.
Tononi of the team said it was possible the research could be used to create a device that initiates slow waves in the brains of those who have difficulty going to sleep, helping with their insomnia.
May it also be possible to reduce the time required to reach the slow-wave sleep, short naps meaning could be almost as long as restorative sleep.
But Professor Drew Dawson, director of the Center for Sleep Research at the University of South Australia said more work was needed.
He was not convinced inducing slow wave brain activity in people that they were automatically means all the benefits of deep sleep.
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