Does Your Brain Sometimes Sleep While You’re Awake?

BrainMost of us believe that sleep is an all-or-nothing state…you’re either awake or asleep, nothing in between. However, researchers have discovered, for quite some time now that parts of the brain shut-off or become less active while other parts of the brain remain active. Could this be the reason why we doze off or space out in the middle of a conversation? A new research study has provided evidence for this to be true! Researchers found a brain circuit called the “Thalamic Reticular Nucleus” or TRN that triggers some areas of the brain to become less active, inducing slow oscillating waves, characteristics of deep sleep even while we remain awake. Some believe these less active areas may help the brain make new memories and allow it to share information more easily. Moreover, some brain dysfunction could possibly be triggered by TNR abnormalities.