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Resetting The Brain's Sleep-Wake Clock

01-06-2011

It seems that not a day goes past that you do not hear about a crazy scientific study that has proven spaghetti only breaks into a certain number of pieces or that people who have watched the entire Baywatch run live two years longer on average. There are even awards that honour those studies, they are called the Ignoble Awards, and they always feature some wacky experiments.

Straight out of the Ignoble Awards category is this piece of research done by British scientists in 1998, where they found they were able to reset the brain’s sleep wake clock by… wait for it, shining a bright light on the back of the person’s knees! Who even comes up with these studies? But even weirder than the fact that a whole lot of scientists thought to shine lights on peoples’ knees to see if it affected their sleep wake clock is that it actually worked.

It is beyond bizarre that by shining a light on the back of someone’s knee, you can trick their brain into thinking it has just been to sleep when it hasn’t. Naturally, the military have been using this discovery. They have been resetting pilots sleep wake clocks so that they can fly longer missions.

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