A ‘Sleep switch’ in brain discovered by Oxford in breakthrough which could lead to better sleeping pills.


A pill to help insomniacs drop off instantly could be developed after scientists discovered the brain switch which triggers sleep. Dubbed ‘Sandman’, the switch is triggered by falling levels of the chemical dopamine which is known to keep people awake. Sleep is governed by two systems—the circadian clock which monitors the time of day, and a mechanism called the ‘sleep homeostat’ which can trigger sleepiness even when it is not dark.

“The circadian clock allows us to anticipate predictable changes in our environment that are caused by the Earth’s rotation,” said lead author Professor Gero Miesenböck.

The last thing we need is yet another ‘sleeping pill’ when there is the amazing Somnius to entrain your brain to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, without drugs, exercises or tapes to listen to.

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