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February 23 2014

Scientists identify the switch that says it’s time to sleep


The switch in the brain that sends us off to sleep has been identified by researchers at Oxford University’s Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour in a study in fruit flies.

The switch works by regulating the activity of a handful of sleep-promoting nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain. The neurons fire when we’re tired and need sleep, and dampen down when we’re fully rested.

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