Study shows brain is alert to dangers even while sleeping

It is nothing new that the human brain remains active while we sleep. However, a study carried out by the University of Salzburg, Austria, showed that in addition to being active, the brain remains alert to possible dangers that are around us.

The research followed the sleep of 17 volunteers and some of them heard an audio of a known voice saying their names, while others heard the audio coming from an unknown voice. It was possible to conclude that the group that heard the strangers had more answers than the others.

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Volunteers exposed to the unknown had more changes in brain activity while listening to the audio than the rest. The brainwave pattern presented by these people works as “a very intelligent mechanism that allows you to filter what is relevant or not and, when relevant, triggers a chain of processes facilitating the processing of this information without needing you to wake up and interrupt your sleep. ”.

The researchers explained that the study shows that "the sleeping brain extracts relevant sensory information for further processing." “Our results place unfamiliar voices as more relevant – or in evolutionary terms potentially more threatening – and, consequently, more exciting to sleepers than familiar voices,” he added.

woman sleeping
Study shows that the brain is alert to dangers even during sleep. Image: Shutterstock

According to the study, after repeating the unfamiliar voices a few times, the brain returned to its usual response. Which means he recognized the voice and understood that it wasn't a threat after being repeated, which shows that the human brain needs time to get used to a new sound, even during sleep.

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