Simplifying Sleep spindles and K-Complexes2019-02-25T21:22:38+00:00

Project Description

Simplifying Sleep spindles and K-Complexes

During REM sleep, study participants reported both intense dream vividness and improved memory of dreams which occurred during that phase, which suggests that dreaming typically occurs REM sleep: we know that dreaming also occurs during NREM sleep; however, in comparison, these dreams appear to be more mundane. We also know that dreams that occur during the NREM stage of sleep typically occur after midnight, which happens to be the time period with the highest rate of REM sleep. This was discovered by a study whereby subjects took naps over specific periods of time and were then forcefully woken: sleep was divided into two parts.

  1. naps with only REM sleep
  2. naps with only NREM sleep using polysomnography.

The implication here is that the occurrence of REM sleep is not necessary for dreaming, but rather than the actual processes creating REM sleep result in alterations to a person’s sleep experience. By morning, and because of these changes, there occurs a sub-cortical activation that’s comparable to the one that occurs during REM sleep. Therefore, during the morning hours in the NREM stage, it’s the sub-cortical activation that causes dreaming.

Sleep Spindles

Spindle activity is exclusive to NREM sleep, with most occurring at the start and end of NREM. Sleep spindles engage brain activation in the superior temporal gyri, anterior cingulate, insular cortices and the thalamus. Sleep spindles have different lengths; with slow spindles associated with an increase in activity in the area known as the superior frontal gyrus ranging between 11 and 13 Hz, and fast spindles associated with the recruitment of both the hippocampus and the medial frontal cortex and the sensorimotor processing cortical regions ranging between 13 and 15 Hz. At this point in time, it’s not clear what is meant by these sleep spindles, but it’s hoped that ongoing research will reveal their function.


Also exclusive to NREM sleep, these can be defined as single long delta waves lasting for only a second. Like sleep spindles, they appear automatically during the early stages of sleep, generally in stage two. However, K-Complexes can be induced at will by momentary noises, such as someone knocking on a door. Further research must be conducted on K-Complexes because their function is currently unknown.

We’re your Bed Buddy!!

Our mission is a simple one: We want to help you get incredible sleep, like a good sleep buddy should. And how you might ask? By not only conducting extensive research into the subject itself, but by personally testing out the thousands of mattresses on the market that claim to improve the quality of your slumber.

We really sleep on our mattress research by testing each for at least a hundred sleeps! We do not just compare features like review blogs, nor collate others’ online reviews, nor do a brief test of one to seven nights. No, our research includes a one hundred consecutive sleep test, so we can say, ‘Yup, this is what we found, because we really slept on it!’

We have no affiliation with the companies we feature, and any advertisements that appear on this website not at our discretion. They are there to keep the slumber party going. The Bed Buddy team takes incredible pride in the work we do. We hope that the reviews, news, and sleep information can help you on your personal journey for better sleep. And the job is fun – it’s not all naps! … sometimes… We love creating content that you enjoy, whether it’s on our site, or our newsletter, which you should sign up for.