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What You Need to Know About Sleep Fragmentation

A good night’s sleep is critical for brain health. It rids the brain of toxins and helps prevent dementia. Healthy sleep is measured not only in hours, but also in continuity: that is, how free from disruption it is.

Sleep fragmentation means waking up many times during the night. You might wake up for just a short time, or you might have trouble getting back to sleep. You might know in the morning that you woke up a lot during the night, or (especially in the case of sleep apnea) you might be unaware of how often your sleep was interrupted. Either way, the effects are the same: daytime sleepiness, harm to brain function and overall health, depression, and even memory deficits.

A pattern of disrupted sleep is also associated with such diseases as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. There is evidence to suggest that sleep fragmentation can be both an early symptom of these diseases and a factor that contributes to their progression.

So, how can you get not just a longer night’s sleep, but a better night’s sleep? Don’t underestimate the power of basic sleep hygiene: keep your sleeping hours regular, pay attention to the ambience of your bedroom, stay away from caffeine, alcohol, and screens before bed, and exercise daily. These habits are all extremely helpful for enhancing the restorative power of your sleep.

New studies show that lights that flicker at 40Hz, that’s 40 flashes per second, have been shown to improve sleep and decrease sleep fragmentation.

New studies show that lights that flicker at 40Hz, that’s 40 flashes per second, have been shown to improve sleep and decrease sleep fragmentation. It turns out that when you sleep, your brain goes into a natural cleaning process. A healthy brain has a natural gamma rhythm of 25-145Hz. 40Hz brain rhythm is associated with the naturally occurring process of clearing away toxins that are associated with dementia.  40Hz helps regulate the central circadian clock needed to maintain many of our simplest daily processes, mental and physical.

The connection between the benefits of sleep and the benefits of a healthy brain rhythm is too striking to ignore. The evidence suggests that brain health enhances sleep, and healthy sleep enhances brain health. 

This is new science: the effects of the brain’s natural gamma rhythm on memory and attention are just beginning to be understood. But the wonderful thing about these new discoveries is how easy they are to incorporate into your routine. 40Hz light encourages your brain’s natural rhythms, is completely noninvasive, and can fit easily into the backdrop of your daily activities. Passive light therapy, like BEACON40 makes a brilliant addition to other common sense habits for enhancing your sleep continuity and overall brain health.

One user of BEACON40 has seen evidence in her own life of the connection between 40Hz lights, good sleep, and improved memory. Margot K. writes: “I wanted to tell you that I purchased a 40Hz light and for the first time in quite a long time am beginning to remember my dreams. Short-term memory revival. Huge. Thank you.”  As sleep science progresses, the connection between high-quality, unfragmented sleep and good cognitive function is coming more and more into focus. The benefits of a good night’s sleep, and the importance of protecting and enhancing our ability to sleep without interruption, are becoming clearer all the time.