Why is it that I can’t sleep soundly when I am away from home? It’s a brain thing, of course!
When you sleep in a new place, part of your brain’s left hemisphere stands guard while the rest of the brain sleeps deeply.
Researchers had a hunch based on the fact that some marine mammals and birds sleep with half a brain at a time.
Ever had a sleep study? Well, people usually take longer to fall asleep, if they ever do, because the conditions are really strange. But, if you stayed another night, you might actually fall asleep.
The vigilant left hemisphere slides into its default mode network which is a collection of nerve cells that become active when the brain isn’t doing anything in particular.
Staying safe while sleeping requires keeping one eye on your surroundings. Ta da! Another mystery of life solved.
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