Have you wondered why is it so that you can not sleep properly when you move house or you stay in a hotel or for that matter at a friend’s place for the first night. Yes, there is scientific evidence that the first night at a different place and in a different bed is always tough .
Most people sleep badly their first night in a new place, whether it’s in the closely monitored hush of a sleep lab or a wind-whipped tent in the desert. So researchers consistently discard their observations from someone’s first night in the lab, only paying attention to the second, when participants have fallen back into their usual nighttime rhythms. Happyho also provide best tarot reading services in Noida and Delhi NCR India area.
Now, neuroscientist Masako Tamaki and her colleagues at Brown University have turned what was once considered scientific garbage into a goldmine.
In a paper published Thursday in Current Biology, they revealed the brain science behind our restless shut-eye when we arrive in a new place, finding that certain circuits in the left side of our brains remain aroused while the rest of the brain slumbers more deeply.
Sleeping for the first night in an alien environment puts us in a state of hypervigilance.
Perhaps the finding shouldn’t come as a surprise given our evolutionary past. Seals, for example, keep one whole side of their brain turned on when sleeping out in the water, while their entire brains surrender when they nap on the beach. Birds do something similar.
To figure out what was going on in humans’ brains — and help explain the so-called “first-night effect” at a neuroscientific level — Tamaki and her team didn’t ask participants to sleep out in the ocean. Instead, they brought 35 young, healthy volunteers into a soundproofed sleep chamber in their basement lab at Brown.
There was a camera in the corner. Participants were also asked to wear a strange cloth wig covered with electrodes. It looks like a cross between a sea creature and a robot. The study subjects have already had bluish gel squirted into their hair, so the electrical activity of their brains can be transmitted into these metal tips and sent zinging along the wires, which run through a hole in the wall and straight into a computer.
By comparing the electrical activity data to two kinds of imaging, the researchers could map out what was going on where in the brain. In seals, it might be one whole hemisphere that stays aroused when sleeping in the water, but in humans it was just the left side of an interconnected brain region called the default mode network.
This network is sort of our brains’ equivalent of a screen saver: when you’re not focused on a task, the default mode network takes over. And during the first sleeping session in the study, the default mode network was more active — and the participants were more likely to respond to beeping sounds — while that effect disappeared once the study subjects were familiar with sleeping in the lab.
The research also offers only explanations and not the solutions to the first-night effect. And people will still feel just as groggy when they walk off a red-eye. But at least scientists can now pinpoint the network of neurons that’s partially to blame.