The architecture of sleep

Author: Milan Rajković, PhD

Table of Contents

Instead of being a simple state of inertness, with or without the presence of dreams, sleep is a complex, diverse and multifaceted series of states which to a large degree make important contribution to and determine our daytime functioning.


sleep, REM

Once our senses disengage from the environment, the various stages of sleep are characterized by significant changes in the electromagnetic activity of the brain, muscle activity, eye movements, respiration, body temperature, heart rate, hormonal activity and other body functions.

The human brain in the sleep state is often considerably more active than when awake. The reason is that the brain is engaged in various activities such as in the regulation of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and immune functions, in energizing the body and in cognitive processing. This latter activity includes the storing, reorganization and retrieval of information already present in the brain, as well as in the acquisition of new information while awake. Essentially, sleep prepares our mind and body for as optimal performance as possible.


Fig. 1. Sleep stages. From top to bottom a) awake state b) stage 1, alpha waves; c) stage 2, theta waves; d) stage 3, delta waves and e) stage 4, REM sleep

When a person lays awake in bed with eyes looking at the ceiling, the electromagnetic activity of the brain is in the beta state (beta waves) characterized by the frequency of 15 to 20 Hz (cycles per second). This is still the awake state, as presented in Fig. 1. Once the tiredness sets in and the person shuts his/hers eyes, the brain waves become slower in frequency and more regular. These waves are known alpha waves which delineate a relaxed, tense free and yet wakeful state. The frequency of these waves, are in the range between 7 to 12 Hz. This state is denoted as stage 1 sleep.

After several minutes in the alpha state the breathing rate begins to slow and the brain waves frequency becomes smaller, entering a light sleep stage. The waves in this stage (theta) are characterized by frequencies in the range of 4 to 8 Hz. In this state the heart rate is lower than in stage 1 and stabilized, and breathing becomes shallow and regular. This state can last from 30 seconds to ten minutes, and is sometimes accompanied by evanescent visual imagery. The next sleep stage is where theta waves are interweaved with the so called K-complexes, single high-amplitude waves, and sleep spindles, which are 12 to 14 Hz waves that resemble the spindle on a loom (stage 2, Fig.1).

It is widely assumed that the stage 2 sleep, which lasts from ten to twenty minutes, represents the beginning of actual sleep where a person becomes disengaged from the environment. At this stage we are approximately at the 20 to 30 minutes since the eyes are closed in order to sleep. At this stage, the person enters stage 3 sleep, which represents a combination of theta and delta waves. Delta waves are very low frequency waves with the minimal frequency of 0.5 Hz and maximal frequency of approximately 2 Hz. Finally the deep sleep sets in at stage 4, delineated solely by the delta waves. At this stage the muscles are completely relaxed, pulse and respiration are slowed, blood pressure drops, and the blood supply to the brain is minimal.

Deep sleep is essential for restoration and growth inducing properties, and plays an important role in maintaining general health. Blood supply is increased in deep, delta sleep enabling body to recover. Also, the body temperature decreases thereby conserving energy. The metabolic activity is at the lowest level during the deep sleep enabling tissue growth and recovery. At this sleep stage the secretion of growth hormone by the pituitary gland is maximal, stimulating growth and repair of tissues. As a consequence of diminished production of growth hormone older adults spend less time in deep sleep.

During deep sleep natural immune system modulators, such as interleukin and tumor necrosis factor increase significantly. Sleep deprivation thus has a detrimental influence on the functioning of the immune system so that resistance to viral infections is lowered to a large degree. Sleeplessness often accompanies illness and the body is aware that sleep helps fight inflammation or infection. If a person meets his/hers daily requirement of sound sleep, it is very likely that remarkable improvements in alertness, energy level and general health are to be experienced.

After approximately thirty to forty minutes of deep delta sleep the brain retraces sleep stages back through stages 3 and 2. Further on, after approximately 2 hours since the sleep started, something changes radically. The sympathetic nervous system becomes more active than in the wakeful state or the stage 1. Blood flow in the brain and temperature increase and the pulse, respiration and blood pressure increase also and become somewhat irregular. The eyes, although the eye lids are still closed, begin to rapidly move back and forth. Theta waves free of K-complexes and sleep spindles, begin to combine with alpha waves remotely resembling the awake state. This state is known as the rapid-eye-movement sleep (REM, Fig.1). It is during this stage that first dreams are experienced.

During REM sleep neuronal messages from the motor cortex of the brain are blocked at the brain stem, resulting in the complete relaxation of the muscles so that the person sleeping is unable to move. In simple terms, REM is characterized by an active brain and motionless body. Dreams occur most frequently during REM sleep and are usually more vivid and emotional than dreams in other sleep stages. REM sleep has an important role in facilitating memory storage, retention, organization and learning. During REM sleep brain activity firing of neurons takes place spreading upward from the brain stem and facilitates memory storage and retrieval and reorganization of information.

During the learning process neurons spread information to specific neurons forming the information network and these networks become the repositories of all of our knowledge. During REM sleep the growth of specific neural connections which hold memories takes place. REM activity is more intense during the periods of intense learning, for example students experience increased REM activity during preparation for exams. Quality REM sleep is also important for transferring short-term memory into long-term memory and directly causes significant increase in memory retention.

Neurotransmitters are molecules acting as chemical messengers in the human brain, enabling mutual communication of neurons. Norepinephrine and serotonin are the most important for learning and retention of information. They are depleted during the day due to the continuous activities of the brain. During REM sleep the brain cells containing these two neurotransmitters are inactive however during this sleep stage the supply of neurotransmitters is replenished. There are several REM cycles during the complete duration of sleep and with each successive cycle the time spent in each REM phase increases from 15 to approximately 60 minutes.

Sleep deprivation

Loss of sleep does not dissipate by itself over time, and it is cumulative so that, for example, a one-hour sleep loss every night for an entire week is equivalent to having lost one whole night of sleep. Some of the consequences of sleep deprivation include:
Mood shifts, including depression and increased irritability. The mood is one of the first expressions of sleep loss. Irritability may be an important aspect in social contacts, work efforts and family matters.

Stress and anxiety, including fear. Loss of self-confidence may also be an expression of sleep loss. Increase in worry, frustration and nervousness leading to inability to relax even under moderate pressure.

Lack of socializing with other persons and desire to detach from other people.
Wight gain. In order to compensate for the adverse effects of sleep loss, consumption of food and beverages, including alcoholic, increases. And to make matter worse, the intake of food high in sugar content is increased in order to aid in staying awake when unable to sleep.

Reduced immunity to disease and viral infection. The immune cells responsible for the direct destruction of antigens such as viruses and bacteria, known as the killer T-cells, are not properly functioning. This may lead to serious health problems.

Reduced productivity, including the reduced ability to concentrate, remember, think rationally, apprehend new information etc. Also, sleep deprivation may considerably reduce motor skills and cause tension in the muscles which prevents

The Schumann resonance signal consists of a spectrum of resonant peaks with a fundamental frequency of 7.83 Hz and broad resonant peaks typically at 14, 20, 26, 33, 39, 45 and 51 Hz. An example of the measured daytime spectrum of the first five modes is given in Figure 2. It is important to emphasize that the first five Schumann resonance modes coincide with the frequency range of the first four EEG waves. The primary EEG frequency bands are: Delta, 0.5 to 4 Hz, Theta, 4-8 Hz, Alpha, 8-13 Hz and Beta,13 to 30 Hz. The resonance effect between Schumann resonance modes and the brain waves is biophysically probable.

Lucha T8 generates photo-modulated red light at the frequency of 7.83 Hz which is exactly the fundamental frequency of the Schumann resonance. Thus this frequency is transmitted to the body interior through the skin by the on-off activity of the red light whose wavelength is 650 nm (nanometers). This wavelength is optimal in order to achieve the maximal penetration depth (6-7 mm) as well as for optimal therapeutic effects, as shown in numerous studies. The effects of modulated red light application are evident on the molecular, cellular and tissue levels. The fundamental biological mechanism behind the effects of red light is through the absorption of light by mitochondrial chromophores which are located in the mitochondria of the respiratory system, in particular cytochrome c oxidase (CCO), which releases bound nitric oxide NO.

This enables oxygen to re-bind CCO and resumes respiratory activity, leading to the synthesis of ATP and calcium signalling. ATP synthesis leads to larger energy production and with more energy, cells can function more efficiently, rejuvenate themselves, and repair damage. By changing the cellular oxidation state a number of intracellular signalling pathways are activated and the affinity of transcription factors concerned with cell proliferation, tissue repair and regeneration is also altered. Cellular information flow along with the Schumann resonance frequency most likely reaches the brain where establishes resonance with the brain waves, a well-known physical phenomenon. Calcium ion signalling is one possible mode of information transfer since oscillatory ion currents are transmitted along with the cellular network.


Fig. 2. A typical daytime spectrum of the electrical field amplitude (vertical axis) as a function of frequency. The first peak occurs at the Schumann frequency of 7.83 Hz as indicated in the diagram.

Schumann resonance frequency most likely reaches the brain where establishes resonance with the brain waves, a well known physical phenomenon. Calcium ion signalling is one possible mode of information transfer since oscillatory ion currents are transmitted along the cellular network.

It should be emphasized that the Lucha T8 frequency corresponds to the transitory state between alpha and theta waves. These waves occur in completely relaxed states of mind and body and even in a slightly drowsy state if theta waves predominate. Thus Lucha T8, during the course of its set 30 minutes application, induces a relaxed state which can be easily transformed into a sleep state if the person is not engaged in physical or mental activities. A photo-modulated red light with an on-off frequency matching the Schumann resonance frequency has the ability to cause a chain chemical reaction at the cellular level which could promote high-quality relaxation and sleep.

As is well known sleep is to a large degree regulated by the hormone melatonin which is derived from the amino-acid tryptophan. Melatonin is naturally secreted by the pineal gland in the brain in response to darkness. The effects of melatonin include, among others, body temperature decrease, induced drowsiness and, probably the most important, immune regulatory stimulation effects. Melatonin is also a potent antioxidant that scavenges free radical from cells. The reduced quantities of melatonin are directly associated with neurological, reproductive and carcinogenic illness and death. The production of melatonin decreases as we get older so it is important to replenish deficiency either by consumption of tryptophan rich food or by consuming melatonin supplements.

Through evolution, the human body has developed a functional system to adapt to circadian and seasonal climatic changes. The central component of this system is melatonin however it does not act alone. It has strong interlaced relationship with serotonin, another regulatory hormone. Serotonin is also made from the essential amino-acid tryptophan but is produced by nerve cells. Its role is to enable signalling between nerve cells, thus it is a neurotransmitter although it may also be considered a hormone. Serotonin is also a precursor to melatonin so the melatonin/serotonin balance is essential for proper functioning of the sleep cycle, determining the quality of sleep including when and how much we sleep.

Environmental factors that change the melatonin/serotonin balance indirectly alter many crucial functions and organs of the human body including blood pressure, immune system, cardiac, neurological and reproductive processes. Let us for the moment assume that Schumann resonance frequency is the time pacer, a metronome, which synchronizes low frequency biological oscillators which determine the homeostasis of the human body. In simpler terms, let Schumann resonance frequency be the most important factor in synchronizing human biological cycles with the daily cycles, thus maintaining optimal health state of the human body. Without this external reference signal biological signals would lose the sense of proper rhythm and could drift into different oscillatory behaviors.

Hence, when the Schumann resonance signal is in its normal range, the biological and health effects lead to the healthy state of the human body. However, when the Schumann resonance signal is altered by geomagnetic activity of the Sun, which happens frequently, then we may expect adverse effects on human health and proper functioning of the organs and biological systems, including altering of the brain waves and the melatonin/serotonin balance.

The geomagnetic activity of the Sun includes sun spot cycles, solar flares and occurrence of strong solar storms which send a shock wave or a cloud of magnetic field which alters the Earth’s magnetic field, causing a temporary disturbance of the Earth’s magnetosphere. A number of experiments have confirmed that the Schumann resonance signal has all the necessary and adequate characteristics to link solar geomagnetic activity and solar events with biological and health effects. Few important conclusions have been made based on these experiments.

Sun’s geomagnetic activity is significantly correlated with the biological and health effects and with the Schumann resonance signal.
The Schumann resonance signal is interacting with the brain electromagnetic activity and is directly associated with the melatonin/serotonin balance. It was shown that Schumann resonance signal interacts with the brain, changing calcium ion flow and the EEG rhythms.

The increase in Sun’s geomagnetic activity, through solar flares and storms, reduces melatonin and disrupts the melatonin/serotonin balance and consequently represents a health hazard. This indicates that the Schumann resonance signal at the fundamental frequency of 7.83 Hz (unaltered by the geomagnetic activity of the Sun) is an important factor in maintaining the healthy state of the human body.

The large amount of research results support the assumed proposition that the Schumann resonance signal is a metronome, a pacemaker, for human brains and represents a biological mechanism and melatonin regulator, that is essential in providing optimal circumstances for proper and healthy functioning of the human body. Alterations of the Schumann resonance frequency due to the strong influence of extreme Sun activity, have detrimental effects on human health. Thus, it would be advantageous for the purpose of maintaining homeostasis to always have the pacemaker tuned to the Schumann resonance frequency of 7.83Hz.

Let it be noted that we are surrounded with electromagnetic waves of various frequencies originating from the mobile telephony, radio waves, satellite signals, Wi-Fi, and numerous others which disrupt and cloud the Schumann resonance when the Sun’s activity is at its quiescent stage. One way to circumvent these adverse effects of the surrounding electromagnetic fields is to have the Schumann resonant frequency dominate at various times of the day. This may be implemented by the use of Lucha T8, which due to its direct application on the human body overcomes effects of alterations in the geomagnetic activities of the Sun as well as the environmental electromagnetic fields. Moreover, it insures steady melatonin/serotonin balance and prevents depletion of melatonin, enabling conditions for sound sleep.

To summarize, the effects of Lucha T8 are twofold with respect to the sleep cycle and circadian rhythm. First, it synchronizes the Schumann resonance signal with the alpha and theta waves of the human brain, enabling relaxation and emergence of drowsiness. In the absence of physical activity, such a state easily leads to sound sleep. Second, the resonance effect between Schumann’s resonance signal and the human brain waves helps in maintaining melatonin/serotonin balance and prevents reduction of melatonin, again promoting quality sleep.

Dies ist Lucha T8.

Entstanden aus der Überzeugung, dass das Ungleichgewicht im menschlichen Körper ein Spiegelbild des Ungleichgewichts in unserer Umgebung ist.