The Science of Sleep: Understanding What Happens When You Sleep

While you sleep, specialized neurons in your brain help you forget

The Science of Sleep: Understanding What Happens When You Sleep | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Forgetting has long been considered a passive process in the brain, but new research puts that idea to bed

While you sleep, the brain forgets. But, until recently it was not clear how the brain decides to forget.

Scientists analyze sleep by measuring the electrical activity of neurons near the outer layer of the brain. By quantifying brainwave changes, scientists have already determined sleep is not just one process.

There are two basic types of sleep: REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM, or NREM. In NREM, your heartbeat slows, your muscles relax, and your brainwaves fall into a constant rhythm producing slow sleep waves.

In REM, voluntary body motion is paralyzed and the brain's activity suddenly jumps. 

We don't remember every detail of our lives: Our brains decide which events are important for long-term storage and which can be purged. So, how does the brain divide memories between long-term safekeeping and the garbage bin?

MCH neurons have recently been studied for their involvement in memory

A collaboration between Japanese and US researchers has revealed an unheard-of method of the brain actively “forgetting” under the lens of REM sleep. The researchers, authors of a recent study led by Shuntaro Izawa and published in the journal Science, have spent years studying sleep and wakefulness.

They examined a group of neurons that produce melanin concentrating hormone (MCH) near a pea-sized area in the brain called the hypothalamus, which produces various types of hormones, including those needed for sleep.

MCH neurons are known to control sleep and appetite, but more recently they have been studied for their involvement in memory. 

Izawa and the other researchers first confirmed that MCH-producing neurons sent blocking signals into the hippocampus, a brain structure important for memory. Once they visualized the interaction between MCH neurons and the hippocampus, they had to test the memory of the mice. They did this with a test called Novel Object Recognition.

In this test, a researcher introduces two identical objects (say, film canisters) to the mouse and allows it to become familiar with the objects. The next day, the mice are exposed to the same two items but this time, after ten minutes, one of the items is replaced with a new item (a Lego block, for example).

If the mouse remembers the film canister, it will spend less time exploring it, instead exploring the new item. 

 Neuroscientists commonly use the Novel Object Recognition test to assess the memory of mice

Izawa and the other researchers tested the memories of mice with and without active MCH neurons. Surprisingly, the mice lacking MCH neurons had a considerable improvement in memory. These mice remembered objects more quickly and for longer periods of time.

In contrast, when testing mice with MCH neurons turned on, their memories plummeted. These mice spent equal time sniffing and licking the old objects (which they had already been introduced to) as with the new objects.

In other words, it seemed the mice did not remember old objects at all. 

In the world of sleep science, MCH neurons have been quite popular due to their predominant activity in REM.

Since REM is known to be important in memory consolidation, the researchers tried to see if memory retention (the period after learning something new but before long-term storage) was affected by manipulating MCH neurons during sleep.

The researchers could precisely control when the MCH neurons were active in a sleeping mouse, effectively creating a time-specific “light switch,” using lasers. 

MCH neurons can substantially impair memory and prompt forgetting during REM

The results were phenomenal: by temporarily “turning off” MCH neurons during the REM phase, mice showed significantly increased memory during the memory tests, while “turning off” the neurons while the mice were awake or in NREM had no effect on their memory. 

It's easy to think of forgetting as a passive process, where things slip through the cracks. The results of this study suggest that MCH neurons can substantially impair memory and prompt forgetting during REM.

Understanding the mechanisms of forgetting during sleep may help answer some questions about memory degeneration in disorders Alzheimer’s Disease.

For example, how is it an Alzheimer’s patient is able to process and respond to new experiences but have trouble retaining them? Is this due to a neuronal “off” switch or does this entail multiple processes researchers are not fully aware of yet?

Your most vivid dreams probably happen during REM sleep

Sleep, particularly REM sleep, has many functions. For many of us, the dreams we would describe as deeply emotional and perceptually vivid happen during REM sleep.

Scientists speculate dreaming may help us regulate our emotions better, process fears and trauma, and assist us in consolidating our memories and forgetting negative events.

Studying memory and emotional modulation of dreaming can shed some light on disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome as well as the neuronal plasticity involved.

Sleep is a regular biological phenomenon that we all experience. Research investigating the relationship between memory, dreaming, and emotions can help us understand the significance of sleep.

The importance of these results points out the fact that little is known about the process of forgetting, despite the mass of knowledge we have about memory.

This new pathway can help scientists clarify how and why we forget, and how sleep may help us in trashing the “extra” memories while keeping the useful ones.


New sleep-promoting brain cells identified

The Science of Sleep: Understanding What Happens When You Sleep | Johns Hopkins Medicine

New research in mice identifies a range of neurons that may be involved in promoting sleep. The findings may soon change therapeutic practices for treating sleep disorders.

Share on PinterestNeurons that express the so-called Lhx6 gene may promote sleep by “switching off” other neurons.

Insomnia affects around 60 million people in the United States every year. It is associated with a variety of health concerns, particularly among the elderly, including cognitive impairment and metabolic syndrome.

As any person who has had a sleepless night will know, trying to “will” yourself to sleep during an episode of insomnia is not just unhelpful, but it might also make matters even worse. But what if there was a “switch” in our brain that we could activate when we want to fall asleep?

A new study may have found such a “switch” in a type of neuron. Having surveyed the existing research, scientists from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD, realized that while a significant amount of work has been done on neurons that promote wakefulness, little research has focused on neurons that promote sleep.

So, the scientists – led by Seth Blackshaw, Ph.D., a professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine – set out to examine the role of brain cells that express a gene called “Lhx6.”

The reason why the researchers decided to examine this particular gene is that it plays a crucial role in forming neurons that inhibit the activity of other neurons. Previous research led by Prof. Blackshaw observed the role of this gene in mice.

He explains the motivation for the study’s focus, saying, “We know cells in other regions of the brain use Lhx6 and that the gene is vital for these areas to develop properly. For example, disrupting Lhx6 expression can result in many diseases, including severe epilepsy.”

So the researchers wondered, what if neurons that express the Lhx6 gene promote sleep by “switching off” other neurons that keep us awake?

The first author of the study is Kai Liu, a graduate student in the Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and the findings were published in the journal Nature.

Liu and team created a mouse model wherein they used “designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs” to analyze whether activating Lhx6-expressing neurons would promote or inhibit sleep.

They used the drug clozapine N-oxide to activate Lhx6-expressing neurons, as well as the Fos protein and viral tracing techniques to study the behavior of these neurons.

Liu and team found that mice slept more and spent more time in both random eye movement (REM) and non-REM sleep during the 12 hours after they received the neuron-activating drug injection. These effects were at their highest between 2 and 8 hours after receiving the drug.

Roughly put, non-REM sleep comprises a stage of deep, restful sleep, whereas REM sleep is considered to be lighter and the sleep phase during which most of our dreaming occurs.

“The fact that these [Lhx6-expressing neurons] promote both non-REM and REM sleep distinguishes them from other sleep-regulating cells. They present a new target for treating a broad range of sleep disorders.”

Prof. Seth Blackshaw

Additionally, the researchers observed this activity in a brain area wherein Lhx6-expressing neurons had not been identified before: a region in the hypothalamus called zona incerta.

“Because the hypothalamus is an ancient system that was relatively well-conserved in evolution from fish to humans, understanding its genetics and chemistry in mice should advance our knowledge of what happens in people’s brains,” explains Prof. Blackshaw.

Previous research identified neurons that promote wakefulness by secreting hypocretin, which is a neuropeptide. So in the new study, the researchers also wanted to see whether Lhx6-expressing neurons inhibited these hypocretin-secreting neurons.

By blocking the action of hypocretin using designer drugs and activating Lhx6-expressing neurons, the researchers found that the mice continued to have increased REM sleep, but not non-REM sleep.

“This shows that Lhx6 inhibits not only hypocretin-producing cells, but also other types of wake-promoting cells,” explains Liu.


The Science of Sleep –

The Science of Sleep: Understanding What Happens When You Sleep | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Certain brain structures and chemicals produce the states of sleeping and waking. For instance, a pacemaker- mechanism in the brain regulates circadian rhythms. (“Circadian” means “about a day.

”) This internal clock, which gradually becomes established during the first months of life, controls the daily ups and downs of biological patterns, including body temperature, blood pressure, and the release of hormones.

Circadian rhythms make people’s desire for sleep strongest between midnight and dawn, and to a lesser extent in mid-afternoon. In one study, researchers instructed a group of people to try to stay awake for 24 hours.

Not surprisingly, many slipped into naps despite their best efforts not to. When the investigators plotted the times when unplanned naps occurred, they found peaks between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. and between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Most Americans sleep during the night as dictated by their circadian rhythms, although many who work on weekdays nap in the afternoon on the weekends. In societies where taking a siesta is the norm, people can respond to their bodies’ daily dips in alertness with a one- to two-hour afternoon nap during the workday and a correspondingly shorter sleep at night.

  • Light. Exposure to light at the right time helps keep the circadian clock on the correct time schedule. However, exposure at the wrong time can shift sleep and wakefulness to undesired times. The circadian rhythm disturbances and sleep problems that affect up to 90% of blind people demonstrate the importance of light to sleep/wake patterns.
  • Time. As a person reads clocks, follows work and train schedules, and demands that the body remain alert for certain tasks and social events, there is cognitive pressure to stay on schedule.
  • Melatonin. Levels of melatonin begin climbing after dark and ebb after dawn. The hormone induces drowsiness, and scientists believe its daily light-sensitive cycles help keep the sleep/wake cycle on track.

Scientists divide sleep into two major types:

1. Quiet sleep or non-REM sleep

2. Dreaming sleep or REM sleep

Surprisingly, they are as different from each other as either is from waking.

Sleep specialists have called quiet or non-REM sleep “an idling brain in a movable body.” During this phase, thinking and most bodily functions slow down, but movement can still occur, and a person often shifts position while sinking into deeper stages of sleep.

Dropping into quiet sleep

To an extent, the idea of “dropping” into sleep parallels changes in brain-wave patterns at the onset of non-REM sleep. When you are awake, billions of brain cells receive and analyze sensory information and coordinate behavior by sending electrical impulses to one another.

If you’re fully awake, an EEG records a messy, irregular scribble of activity. Once your eyes are closed and your brain no longer receives visual input, brain waves settle into a steady and rhythmic pattern of about 10 cycles per second.

This is the alpha-wave pattern, characteristic of calm, relaxed wakefulness (see Figure 1).

The transition to quiet sleep is a quick one that might be ned to flipping a switch—that is, you are either awake (switch on) or asleep (switch off), according to research.

Unless something disturbs the process, you will proceed smoothly through the three stages of quiet sleep.

Stage N1

In making the transition from wakefulness into light sleep, you spend about five minutes in stage N1 sleep. On the EEG, the predominant brain waves slow to four to seven cycles per second, a pattern called theta waves (see Figure 1).

Body temperature begins to drop, muscles relax, and eyes often move slowly from side to side. People in stage N1 sleep lose awareness of their surroundings, but they are easily jarred awake.

However, not everyone experiences stage N1 sleep in the same way: if awakened, one person might recall being drowsy, while another might describe having been asleep.

Stage N2

This first stage of true sleep lasts 10 to 25 minutes. Your eyes are still, and your heart rate and breathing are slower than when awake. Your brain’s electrical activity is irregular.

Large, slow waves intermingle with brief bursts of activity called sleep spindles, when brain waves speed up for roughly half a second or longer.

Scientists believe that when spindles occur, the brain disconnects from outside sensory input and begins the process of memory consolidation (which involves organizing memories for long-term storage).

The EEG tracings also show a pattern called a K-complex, which scientists think represents a sort of built-in vigilance system that keeps you poised to awaken if necessary. K-complexes can also be provoked by certain sounds or other external or internal stimuli. Whisper someone’s name during stage N2 sleep, and a K-complex will appear on the EEG. You spend about half the night in stage N2 sleep.

Stage N3 (deep sleep, or slow-wave sleep)

Eventually, large, slow brain waves called delta waves become a major feature on the EEG, and you enter deep sleep. Breathing becomes more regular. Blood pressure falls, and the pulse slows to about 20% to 30% below the waking rate. The brain is less responsive to external stimuli, making it difficult to wake the sleeper.

Dreaming (REM) sleep

Dreaming occurs during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which has been described as an “active brain in a paralyzed body.” Your brain races, thinking and dreaming, as your eyes dart back and forth rapidly behind closed lids. Your body temperature rises.

Your blood pressure increases, and your heart rate and breathing speed up to daytime levels. The sympathetic nervous system, which creates the fight-or-flight response, is twice as active as when you’re awake.

Despite all this activity, your body hardly moves, except for intermittent twitches; muscles not needed for breathing or eye movement are quiet.

The role of REM sleep

Just as deep sleep restores your body, scientists believe that REM or dreaming sleep restores your mind, perhaps in part by helping clear out irrelevant information.

Studies of students’ ability to solve a complex puzzle involving abstract shapes suggest the brain processes information overnight; students who got a good night’s sleep after seeing the puzzle fared much better than those asked to solve the puzzle immediately.

Earlier studies found that REM sleep facilitates learning and memory. People tested to measure how well they had learned a new task improved their scores after a night’s sleep.

If they were subjected to periodic awakenings that prevented them from having REM sleep, the improvements were lost. By contrast, if they were awakened an equal number of times from deep sleep, the improvements in the scores were unaffected.

These findings may help explain why students who stay up all night cramming for an examination generally retain less information than classmates who get some sleep.

Sleep architecture

During the night, a normal sleeper moves between different sleep stages in a fairly predictable pattern, alternating between REM and non-REM sleep. When these stages are charted on a diagram, called a hypnogram (see Figure 2), the different levels resemble a drawing of a city skyline. Sleep experts call this pattern sleep architecture.

In a young adult, normal sleep architecture usually consists of four or five alternating non-REM and REM periods. Most deep sleep occurs in the first half of the night. As the night progresses, periods of REM sleep get longer and alternate with stage N2 sleep. Later in life, the sleep skyline will change, with less stage N3 sleep, more stage N1 sleep, and more awakenings.

Control of many of the features of sleep architecture resides in the brainstem, the area that also controls breathing, blood pressure, and heartbeat. Fluctuating activity in the nerve cells and the chemical messengers they produce seem to coordinate the timing of wakefulness, arousal, and the 90-minute changeover that occurs between REM and non-REM sleep.

Adapted with permission from Improving Sleep: A Guide to a Good Night’s Rest, a special health report published by Harvard Health Publishing.


What Happens in a Sleep Study?

The Science of Sleep: Understanding What Happens When You Sleep | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Linkedin Pinterest Sleep Sleep Science

A lot goes on in your brain and in your body while you’re asleep.

Trackingthis activity during a sleep study can help your doctor diagnose and treata variety of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea and restless legssyndrome, and can serve as an evaluation for certain causes of excessivesleepiness, says Johns Hopkins sleep expertSara Benjamin, M.D. 

If you have questions about undergoing a sleep study, you’re not alone. Here are some answers that can help you understand the process and put you at ease.

What Does a Sleep Study Measure?

The most widely used type of sleep study is a polysomnogram. While you slumber in a high-tech sleep lab that looks a comfortable hotel room, a technician in a nearby room records your brain activity and selected information from your body.

Together, this data reveal a detailed picture of your unique sleep patterns—including how much time you spend in light and deep stages, whether you’re receiving enough oxygen, how often you awaken (even slightly), and whether sleep is disrupted by factors such as arm and leg movements.

What Sleep-Lab Equipment Is Used?

After you arrive at the sleep center (usually in the evening), a technician will apply small sensors to your head and body with adhesive.

The wires connecting the sensors to a computer are usually gathered over your head with plenty of slack so you can move around during sleep. Elastic belts also may be wrapped around your chest and abdomen to measure breathing.

And a clip may be placed on your finger or earlobe to monitor oxygen levels in your bloodstream. Most people get used to it all very quickly.

If the sleep technician suspects that you have obstructive sleep apnea, you may wear a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine during the second half of the night in the sleep lab. You may be asked to try on the breathing mask before you go to sleep, to be sure it fits. “The technician will adjust the machine and monitor to see if it improves your sleep,” Benjamin says.

What Steps Can Increase Comfort?

For better sleep, avoid alcohol and naps the day of your sleep study. Don’t have anything with caffeine (including coffee, tea, cola and chocolate) after lunch. At your doctor’s visit before your sleep study, be sure to share all of the medications and supplements you take. Follow your doctor’s recommendations, and bring comfortable pajamas and a book or magazine to read.

“We don’t expect you to sleep as well as you would at home, and we take that into account,” Benjamin says. “Most people sleep better than they expect. The technicians are very reassuring too.” If you have to use the bathroom during the study, just say so. The technician monitoring your sleep will disconnect the wires for you.

What Happens After a Polysomnogram?

A sleep study produces hundreds of pages of information about your night in the sleep lab. It will give your doctor the big picture about your sleep, plus lots of important details.

“It usually takes about two weeks for the sleep specialist to review it and send the results to your doctor,” Benjamin says.

“The results will help your doctor decide on the best treatment so you get a good night’s sleep.”

At-home sleep studies are becoming more common for diagnosing sleep apnea,says Johns Hopkins sleep expertSara Benjamin, M.D.What to know as you discuss with your doctor:

  • Home studies are well-validated only for diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea in certain groups of people. If you are obese or have a complicated health history, your study is more ly to be done in the lab.
  • Insurance coverage varies depending on your plan, insurance company and where you live.


Are My Sleeping Habits Normal? Understanding Sleep Cycles & Sleep Patterns

The Science of Sleep: Understanding What Happens When You Sleep | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Scientists once believed that sleep was a time of inactivity, when the body and mind became passive in order to rest and recuperate between days.

However, modern research has revealed that the brain is actually quite active during sleep and goes through patterns of activity throughout the night.

If you understand how sleep patterns generally work, you can make healthy choices to improve your sleep cycles and feel more rested when you wake up in the morning.3

Stages of Sleep: Understanding Your Sleep Cycle

Sleep is typically divided into two main stages: REM sleep and non-REM sleep. REM stands for rapid eye movement, and healthy adults cycle through these two stages of sleep about every 90 minutes.

The REM sleep cycle is a time when the brain is active, and the body is still except for movements of the eyes, middle ear, and respiratory system.

On the other hand, the brain is less active, but the body is more able to move during the non-REM sleep cycle. 3,8

Non-REM sleep is made up of four or five stages of sleep that start with drowsiness and progress into deep sleep.

During the progression of these stages of sleep, muscle activity slows down, breathing patterns change, body temperature drops, and eyes eventually begin to flutter rapidly.

During REM sleep, your body is less ly to be startled by external elements but more ly to be spontaneously awakened by internal processes. Humans are also most ly to have dreams during the REM sleep cycle.3,8

Do I Have a Normal Sleep Cycle?

Many factors affect our sleep cycles, including aging, which is one of the most significant and universal factors. The amount of sleep that humans need decreases from childhood to adulthood and again from adulthood into old age.4

Sleep cycles are also relevant for napping. Some people swear by taking a full 90-minute nap to complete a sleep cycle, while others opt for 15-20 minute power naps to reduce grogginess when waking up.

6 Most societies have a culture of sleeping in one large chunk of time for seven or eight hours; however, other cultures promote a six-hour night’s sleep with a mid-afternoon “siesta” to cater to natural circadian rhythms.

Bad Sleeping Patterns to Avoid

If you want to sleep better and feel more rested throughout the day, it’s important to avoid sleep patterns that lead to sleeplessness and other sleep disorders. These are some bad sleeping patterns to avoid in your life.5

  • Having an irregular sleep schedule
  • Trying to sleep in a noisy or distracting environment
  • Forcing yourself to go to sleep when you’re not tired
  • Becoming anxious or overstimulated in the middle of the night

How to Improve Your Sleep Schedule by Forming Healthy Sleeping Habits

Fortunately, you are not stuck with the sleep cycle that you have at this very moment. Healthy sleep habits can have a profound impact upon your sleep cycle, while bad sleeping habits will have a negative parallel effect.5

Here are some ways that you can begin to improve your sleep cycle and natural sleep rhythm.

  • Work out early in the day7
  • Don’t drink any caffeine after lunch
  • Turn off the television, computer, and e-readers an hour before bed
  • Take over the counter sleep aids, such as NiteThru Advanced Sleep Aid 1,2
  • Never bring your laptop into bed to work before you sleep

“Please note, the material located on our site is for informational purposes only, is general in nature, and is not intended to and should not be relied upon or construed as a therapeutic claim or medical advice regarding any specific issue or factual circumstance.”


#15: Why Sleep Science and EMS Technology Go Hand in Hand

The Science of Sleep: Understanding What Happens When You Sleep | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Did you know? Up until the 1950s, most people believed the brain and body remained dormant during sleep.

But it turns out, the more that researchers, scientists and neurologists study sleep, the more we discover about the many active processes that occur when we rest.

During sleep the brain engages in activities that impact mental health, physical wellness and even an improved quality of life.

That being said, rest and recovery during and post workout are crucially important for brain health as well as for overall health and wellbeing.

Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) technology supports muscle recovery, and helps reduce tension and muscle discomfort, thereby supporting better sleep.

From professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts to busy moms and everyday people who experience muscle pain or muscle atrophy, electric muscle stimulation offers a safe, scientifically sound way to support fitness recovery, decrease muscle pain and enhance a healthy sleep schedule.

This article uncovers key information about sleep science, and makes connections between how EMS supports muscle recovery and leads to better sleep.

Understanding Your Sleep Cycles

You’ve probably heard of REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep. What you may not know is that during this sleep cycle your brain waves are very similar to those during wakefulness. As you sleep your brain repeatedly cycles through REM and non-REM sleep, typically cycling 4-5 times a night. Non-REM sleep is the first part of the cycle, which is made up of 4 stages:

Stage 1–Period between being awake and falling asleep

Stage 2–Light sleep | Heart rate and breathing begin to regulate, body temperature drops

Stages 3 & 4–Deep sleep

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, new data suggests that non-REM sleep impacts learning and memory to a greater degree than REM sleep. Non-REM sleep is also the more restful, restorative sleep cycle.

Sleep, Aging & Muscle Recovery

As you age, the amount of sleep you need changes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health, although the daily amount of sleep you get is important, there are other aspects of sleep that contribute to overall health and wellness. It’s not just the quantity (i.e.

, number of hours), but the quality of sleep that matters. If you are physically active or athletic, it’s critical that you not only consider your diet and exercise plan, but also that you carve out ample time for quality sleep. The more these components align, the greater results you will experience.

Sleep needs vary from person to person.

Some people claim that they feel rested after just a few hours of sleep each night, but they ly do not function or perform optimally during the day as compared to those who get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.

Additionally, those who sleep less than 7 hours a night over several consecutive nights, or over a long period of time often do not perform as well when faced with complex mental tasks.

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) provides guidelines for healthy sleep schedules for all age ranges. The recommended newborn (0-3 months) sleep schedule is between 14-17 hours a night. The recommended sleep schedule for infants (4-11 months) is between 12-15 hours.

For toddlers (1-2 years), the range is 11-14 hours, and for preschoolers (3-5 years), the recommended sleep duration is 10-13 hours a night. Once children reach school age (6-13 years) and into their teens (14-17 years), the recommended sleep schedule ranges from between 8-11 hours a night.

Of course this range fluctuates depending on the individual, and may also vary widely during growth spurts and hormonal changes.

Sleep needs also vary for young adults (18-25 years), mature adults (26-64 years) and older adults (65+ years) depending on age, mental and physical health, and fitness or activity level. The NSF generally recommends that adults sleep between 7-9 hours a night.

For some seniors, that number can decrease to as little as 5-6 hours a night the way that sleeping patterns change as we age.

The Mayo Clinic reports that in addition to age, sleep needs vary previous sleep deprivation, sleep quality, aging and changes in the body that occur during pregnancy.

EMS Supports Better Sleep

Good sleep and fitness recovery go hand in hand. Sleep significantly affects brain function, more than we even realize during our day-to-day routines.

Johns Hopkins Medicine reports that a healthy amount of sleep each night is essential to neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to develop as we age, rewire and heal itself, and otherwise respond and adapt to input.

Lack of sleep, especially on a frequent basis, often makes it difficult to process information throughout the day and retain information for future reference.

You can improve the quality of your sleep and get a good night’s rest more often by using EMS technology on a regular basis. Electrical muscle stimulation helps restore muscles and ease muscle tension, allowing the body to relax and slip into more restful sleep.

Better sleep will, in turn, improve your quality of life as well as your health, overall wellness and physical fitness.

This is also where electrical muscle stimulation can aid in fitness recovery after intense training sessions and even help eliminate everyday aches and pains.

Electric muscle stimulation is fascinating not just because of the science behind the technology, but also due to its vast and effective applications. Not only does our EMS device support fitness recovery during and in between workouts, but PowerDot is also a fantastic tool for those experiencing muscle atrophy due to lack of physical activity, age, or disease or injury.

Our smart muscle stimulator is the safe, clinically proven solution for reducing muscle discomfort as well as for keeping inactive muscles moving.

When used in recovery or massage modes, the PowerDot electric muscle stimulator gently engages type I, slow-twitch muscle fibers.

When used correctly and on a consistent basis, electrical muscle stimulation can help reduce muscle tightness, soreness or weakness as well as prevent injuries.

Electric muscle stimulation complements a healthy lifestyle comprised of a balanced diet, regular exercise and consistently solid sleep. Fully rested muscles and a body that aches less ultimately lead to more restful sleep. And as we’ve learned, good sleep is the key that unlocks a highly efficient brain and body, and a healthier, happier you!

If you’ve enjoyed geeking out with us on sleep science, you’ll love our How to Use Electric Muscle Stimulation videos on !


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Sleep Foundation

Mayo Clinic