This Part of Your Body Never Goes to Sleep

Hint: Be careful what you say around slumbering people

Black couple sleep

When you sleep, you may think that your five senses shut down. But a recent study by researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, suggests that you need to watch what you say around slumbering folks: The ears are always on. Check out these 8 sleep sounds that will help you get a better rest.

The researchers studied preschool-age children while they were sleeping. “The type of environment in which children sleep has been a topic of conversation, especially in recent years,” said study coauthor Adrienne Roman, PhD, in a press release. “But there’s a big hole in the literature and the discussion about what goes on with preschool-age children, which was our jumping-off point.”

In the study, napping children were hooked up to a portable EEG machine and then played three nonsense words. When the kids woke up, they were again connected to the EEG machine and played a series of words—including the nonsense ones from their nap. The children’s brains showed positive signs when they heard the keywords, indicating that they were able to recognize the test sounds. Learn these 30 mind-blowing facts about the human brain.

One goal of the research, Roman said, is to better understand how children’s brains develop and whether they’re still registering information while asleep. But it’s also good information to know the next time you’re discussing the snoozing kids—or adults—in the room: Their sleeping brains may still be registering what you’re saying. Now read these 20 obscure facts you never knew about your body.

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