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The Physics of Sleeping

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mathgeek15

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I must have a thing for thinking about blog posts in the middle of the night. So last night I woke up at 3:00 am because of my sore throat, which makes it extremely painful to swallow, cough, yawn, etc. So, as I lied in bed unable to fall asleep, I thought about the mythbusters episode I watched about making someone wet the bed by sticking their hand in water. But what stuck out to me was that they used the frequency of the brain waves to determine how deeply asleep Adam and Jamie were.

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As you can see, the brain waves are much faster and active when awake, but when asleep the frequency slows down, making it easier to pull a classic camp prank on someone. Spoiler Alert: it doesn't work. Pretty cool how waves is applied to the real world huh? Unless you're me, then your brain waves look like this:

blogentry-575-0-90150900-1367339877_thum

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It is cool to understand how the frequency is smaller and the wavelength is longer in brain waves when you're asleep then when you're awake. It makes a lot of sense now that I think about it!

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So even when you are deeply asleep you will not wet the bed with your hand in a bowl of water? That is nice to hear!

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I wonder what the brain frequency is when you are having a nightmare... or sleep walking.. or sleep-eating.

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