Keep stress at bay

Keep stress at bay

A new study finds that people with a certain pattern of brain activity are at a risk of developing insomnia

Stress may trigger insomnia, but those with a lower amount of a particular pattern of brain waves are at even greater risk of developing the disorder, research has found.

The findings could help researchers predict who is most likely to suffer from insomnia.

“We are not all equally armed when facing stress, in terms of how we can manage our sleep. Some people are more vulnerable than others,” said Thien Thanh Dang-Vu from Concordia University in Canada.

The inner parts of the brain produce electromagnetic activity during sleep. When monitored by diagnostic tools, this activity appears as patterns of squiggly lines that scientists refer to as spindles. “We found that those who had the lowest spindle activity tended to develop more disturbances in response to stress,” Dang-Vu said.

So how do you get better spindles?

Unfortunately, there is not a lot you can do at the moment, since spindles seem to be partially dependent on genetics, the study said.

In the meantime, one should abide by the habits already acknowledged to promote a good night’s sleep, Dang-Vu said.

“Avoid sources of stress when going to bed, preserve the bedroom environment for sleep and not for work, and avoid stimulation. Find ways to relax before going to sleep,” he added.



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