August 9th, 2010
12:00 PM ET

Why some people can sleep through anything

Everyone, even the lightest sleeper, is less aware of noise while they sleep. So what helps us in blocking the outside world when we need to re-juice? And what makes some people deeper sleepers than others?

Dr. Jeff Ellenbogen, chief of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Division of Sleep Medicine, led a study looking at particular brain waves called sleep spindles. How many spindles a person’s mind cranks out while sleeping predicts how deep he or she sleeps while bombarded with noise, his study in Current Biology found.

While sleeping, a person’s brain waves become slower and more regular. Sporadically, the brain has bursts of higher-frequency waves called sleep spindles. These bursts, which occur only when a person is sleeping, were dubbed “spindles” because they look like rolls of yarn on an electroencephalograph (EEG), which measures the electronic activity fired by neurons in the brain.

In the experiment, Ellenbogen studied healthy volunteers placed in a sleep laboratory for three consecutive nights. On the first night, participants could blissfully rest in a lofty queen-size bed and fresh, soft sheets without interruption. Ellenbogen and colleagues measured their brain rhythms and noted how often spindles occurred.

The second and third night, the researchers placed a speaker behind the sleepers and played everyday noises, such as alarm clocks or toilets flushing, at varying volumes and noted how loud a noise had to be before arousing each person. According to the study, those with higher spindle rates on the quiet night were more stable sleepers on the noisier nights.

As a person ages, he or she produces fewer spindles and is more sensitive to noises while sleeping. This could explain why people don’t sleep as well after getting older, Ellenbogen said.

Researchers have also found a correlation between spindle rate and learning potential. One study released in 2007 found that the more spindles pumped out while sleeping, the higher the person’s performance IQ was. The more spindles a person produces while they sleep, the better a person consolidates memories, Ellenbogen’s study report cites.

Long-term, Ellenbogen hopes to find natural ways to enhance sleep and all its benefits. We can’t always be in a quiet environment while getting some shut-eye, so he wants to help people make the best of their rest.

He wants to figure out whether sleeping drugs really catalyze genuine sleep or just a sleep-like state, and believes this link between spindles and deeper sleeping will be a tool in doing so.

Post by:
Filed under: Sleep

soundoff (937 Responses)
  1. RV Frame Riverside

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been conducting a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to talk about this topic here on your web page.


    May 22, 2021 at 05:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Steps California

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon every day. It will always be useful to read articles from other writers and use something from other web sites.


    May 22, 2021 at 08:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. toy hauler california


    May 22, 2021 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. chloroquineorigin

    chloroquine price in india https://chloroquineorigin.com/ buy chloroquine uk chloroquine diphosphate hydroxychloroquine sulfate corona

    May 22, 2021 at 17:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. RV Bay Doors California


    May 22, 2021 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Frame California


    May 22, 2021 at 18:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. chloroquineorigin

    chloroquine autophagy [url=https://chloroquineorigin.com/ ]aralen buy [/url] chlorochin hydroxychloroquine sulfate corona chloroquine autophagy

    May 23, 2021 at 01:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Alignment Los Angeles


    May 23, 2021 at 02:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RV Couches Near Me


    May 23, 2021 at 02:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. https://www.monecole-enligne.net

    I like typically the way you create and even share the niche! Very interesting and various! Continue to keep it coming!


    May 23, 2021 at 03:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RV Frame Near Me


    May 23, 2021 at 06:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Soosteemocush

    tadalafil online with out prescription where to buy cialis without prescription tadalafil buy tadalis https://cttadalafil.com/

    May 23, 2021 at 15:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Soosteemocush

    tadalafil cost walmart cheap cialis pills for sale where to buy generic cialis online safely cheapest tadalafil cost [url=https://tadagatadalafil.com/ ]cialis without prescription [/url]

    May 23, 2021 at 17:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Social Media Marketing Firms

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up plus the rest of the site is really good.


    May 23, 2021 at 18:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. tausAffessy

    https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ tadalafil cost in canada [url=https://tadalafilww.com/ ]buy cialis pills [/url] tadalafil online

    May 23, 2021 at 23:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. truck box repair

    Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this web site before but after going through a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely happy I discovered it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!


    May 24, 2021 at 03:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Tembepteriope

    tadalafil order online no prescription [url=https://cttadalafil.com/ ]cialis cost [/url] cialis tadalafil buy tadalis cheap cialis pills for sale

    May 24, 2021 at 03:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. mattress repair service


    May 24, 2021 at 06:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. tausAffessy

    cost tadalafil generic side effects of tadalafil buy tadalis tadalafil generic where to buy [url=https://apcalisetadalafil.com/ ]where to order tadalafil tablets [/url]

    May 24, 2021 at 06:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. tausAffessy

    cialis at canadian pharmacy [url=https://tadagatadalafil.com/ ]tadalafil online with out prescription [/url] buy generic cialis online with mastercard tadalafil generic where to buy https://tadagatadalafil.com/

    May 24, 2021 at 07:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Video Marketing Specialist


    May 24, 2021 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. mobile rv repair orange county ca

    A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I believe that you need to publish more on this issue, it might not be a taboo subject but typically people don't talk about these topics. To the next! Best wishes!!


    May 24, 2021 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. collision experts fargo


    May 24, 2021 at 14:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Soosteemocush

    tadalafil side effects tadalafil liquid cheapest tadalafil cost https://apcalisetadalafil.com/

    May 24, 2021 at 17:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. orange county tire

    Your style is unique compared to other people I have read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this web site.


    May 24, 2021 at 20:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. rv furniture store


    May 24, 2021 at 21:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. horse trailer painting


    May 24, 2021 at 21:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Solar Panels Systems Riverside

    Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this web site before but after browsing through a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Regardless, I’m definitely delighted I discovered it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!


    May 24, 2021 at 22:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. tausAffessy

    tadalafil generic canada generic tadalafil cost tadalafil generic cialis at canadian pharmacy [url=https://apcalisetadalafil.com/ ]tadalafil online with out prescription [/url]

    May 24, 2021 at 22:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Content Marketing Firms

    Hello! I just want to give you a big thumbs up for your excellent info you've got here on this post. I will be returning to your website for more soon.


    May 24, 2021 at 23:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. SEO Marketing Firm

    I blog quite often and I truly appreciate your content. This article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to bookmark your website and keep checking for new information about once per week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.


    May 25, 2021 at 00:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. New Forklifts


    May 25, 2021 at 02:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Tembepteriope

    what is tadalafil where to buy generic cialis online safely tadalafil order online no prescription lowest price cialis https://tadagatadalafil.com/

    May 25, 2021 at 02:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. combigan

    buy generic brimonidine brimonidine dosage

    May 25, 2021 at 03:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Internet Marketing Consultants

    I quite like reading through a post that will make men and women think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!


    May 25, 2021 at 04:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. tausAffessy

    generic cialis online fast shipping where to order tadalafil tablets tadalafil dosage tadalafil drug [url=https://tadalafilww.com/ ]prescription tadalafil online [/url]

    May 25, 2021 at 05:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Video Marketing Services


    May 25, 2021 at 06:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Tembepteriope

    tadalafil drug tadalafil online tadalafil order online no prescription tadalafil blood pressure [url=https://apcalisetadalafil.com/ ]buy cialis pills [/url]

    May 25, 2021 at 06:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. combigan

    buy generic brimonidine combigan bottle sizecombigan

    May 25, 2021 at 10:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. tausAffessy

    https://tadalafilol.com/ tadalafil [url=https://tadagatadalafil.com/ ]side effects for tadalafil [/url] cost of cialis

    May 25, 2021 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Social Media Marketing Near Me

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It is the little changes that will make the largest changes. Many thanks for sharing!


    May 25, 2021 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Google Marketing Service

    The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not fail me just as much as this one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read through, but I genuinely believed you'd have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something that you could possibly fix if you were not too busy looking for attention.


    May 25, 2021 at 12:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. brimonidine

    generic brimonidine combigan uk

    May 25, 2021 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Soosteemocush

    tadalafil dosage tadalafil online generic tadalafil from uk tadalafil generic [url=https://tadalafilww.com/ ]generic tadalafil from uk [/url]

    May 25, 2021 at 19:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Generator Near Me

    I wanted to thank you for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it. I've got you bookmarked to check out new things you post…


    May 26, 2021 at 01:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Storage Riverside

    Excellent article! We are linking to this great post on our site. Keep up the good writing.


    May 26, 2021 at 02:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. rv service and parts near me

    I was excited to uncover this great site. I want to to thank you for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely liked every bit of it and I have you book marked to see new stuff on your site.


    May 26, 2021 at 02:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Wraps Orange County


    May 26, 2021 at 02:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. tausAffessy

    buy cialis tadalafil online where to buy cialis without prescription side effects of tadalafil [url=https://cttadalafil.com/ ]tadalafil cialis [/url]

    May 26, 2021 at 04:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. avanafil

    avanafil dosage buy avanafil usa

    May 26, 2021 at 09:57 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Leave a Reply to Social Media Marketing Firms Near Me


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.