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Music Can Enhance Brainpower During Sleep

Update Date: Apr 13, 2013 11:41 AM EDT
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Music can be considered an integral part in most people's lives, helping them express their feelings and connect with their minds. Studies have even shown that music has several benefits for mental health, particularly memory and performance. Previous research revealed that certain types of music could improve performance on a test while other research suggested that music could improve one's attention span. One of the latest studies reports that listening to music during sleep could enhance brainpower and lead to better memory.

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The research team, headed by Dr. Jan Born from the University of Tubingen in Germany, recruited 11 participants. The participants were taught certain words during the evening and were required to recite them the day after. During sleep, the participants were required to listen to music, which the researchers had synced up to their brain activity. The researchers used stimulating music and synced it up to the brain's slow oscillation rhythm. Previous research has shown that slow oscillations are linked to memory development.  

The researchers concluded that after listening to music during sleep, the participants were better able to recall the words that they learned the day before. The researchers also tested the effects of music stimulation when it was not in sync with the brain's slow oscillation activity and found that memory was not improved.

"Importantly, the sound stimulation is effective only when the sounds occur in synchrony with the on-going slow oscillation rhythm during sleep. We present the acoustic stimuli whenever a slow oscillation 'up state' was upcoming, and in this way we were able to strengthen the slow oscillation, so that it showed higher amplitude and occurred for longer periods," Born stated.

Based from this finding, the researchers also believe that sleeping with music could improve the overall sleeping experience as well. A good night's rest has been linked to several health benefits as well.

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