In 2013, Jan Born, a leading neuroscientist at the University of Tübingen in Germany, demonstrated that a certain type of noise, pink noise, has an impact on the slow oscillations of sleep, in other words deep sleep. This was the result of a decade’s worth of neuroscientific research into the stimulation of deep sleep.
The first discovery in this field dates back to 2005 and the stimulation was then electric. It took another eight years before, in 2013, this electric stimulation was replaced with something less harmful: sound.
Due to its natural sensitivity to noise, it is possible to influence the thalamus with sound stimulation. Pink noise is the preferred type of noise to influence the thalamus, thanks to its high spectral density, which makes it more impactful.
Played at specific moments of deep sleep, this pink noise based stimulation therefore has the effect of ‘boosting’ the thalamus' impulses and optimizing their rhythm. This helps synchronize more neurons at once, and more intensely. The result is an increase in the amplitude and density of slow waves, the main indicators of deep sleep quality.
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