Do people who’ve fallen asleep watching TV really wake up when someone turns it off? What’s happening in their brain?

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Throughout my life I’ve seen this bit on tv and movies time and time again, but I don’t know if that actually happens nor which could be the cause

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Probably depends on the person?

You never fall completely asleep. A small part of your brain is still listening out for sounds and a few other senses and will wake you up if something happens. The advantages to this in survival situations are obvious.

I fall asleep with the TV on almost every night.
The TV shuts off on its own because there’s a timer on it, and I never wake up when it turns off.

hm, it really depends on the person. but for the ones who do wake up, it’s mostly because they’ve gotten used to the sound as background noise so when the tv turns off and there’s no sound, they get surprised when there’s no more noise coming from the tv

The brain is looking for change while sleeping. Change maybe equals danger as far as the brain is concerned. Going from noise to quiet is change and can wake you up.

You notice when somebody turns off a fan, or the the laundry machine stops right? Sound to no sound is noticeable.