Living and sleeping in a room with seven other roommates can come easy to some, but is definitely a struggle for others.
I was put into supplemental housing this semester with seven other roommates, so adjusting to college life has definitely been much different for me than most freshmen. One thing I have to be mindful of is the fact that I have to be awake for two 9 a.m. and two 8 a.m. classes a week. This means I need to set my alarm for a painfully early time if I want to beat the early morning Starbucks rush.
I began to wonder what makes me a deep sleeper? What makes others light sleepers?
According to a Time article by Alice Park, scientists have recorded in a study that certain people, depending on how their brains work, can cancel out ambient or environmental sounds better that others. From these studies, researchers hope that they can one day re-construct the brains of people affected by these sounds to cure their light sleeping patterns.
The brain constantly receives information, even in our sleep, says Park. Studies at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital have conducted a way to see the brain wave patterns of sleep. These can clearly point out when and where interrupted sleep can take place within a deep sleep. This research was conducted by neurologist Dr. Jeffrey Ellenbogen.
Ellenbogen preformed a series of experiments observing 12 “healthy”, or normal sleepers in their sleep. The first night the experiment didn’t protrude any noise during their sleep, although on the second night they played various noises from flushing toilets to overhead jet sounds. (Park 2).
Ellenbogen then recorded the brain spindles, or measures of waves of sleep which are present in the thalamus. These measurements are electric impulses that the brain creates. On the first night, they found people who had more brain spindles sleep better on the second (Park 2).
In conclusion, Ellenbogen wishes to find a cure or produce a medication in which manipulates the spindles of people with less frequencies of them.
Personally, this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed and Ellenbogen’s research certainly provides very well cited investigations. Ellenbogen says two view points were always considered when ruling out variables in light sleeping. These variables only dealt with the independent variable of the actual sound and source of sound. Although, what is different about his experimental process is he that he looked at the dependent variable of what is happening in the brain itself, according to Park.
Sleep is a very interesting topic and is something we need especially as college students. With the various sounds that play a part in dorm life, apartment life, and greek housing; we have to all be aware that we aren’t alone and respective to the hard working and fellow Penn Staters among us.