Neurobiologist Dragana Rogulja says by studying the fly we can find factors that specifically regulate how we fall asleep, how we stay asleep, and how we wake up, reports NPR.

One goal of Rogulja’s research is to make possible a new generation of sleeping pills that gently tweak the brain pathways associated with a specific type of insomnia. “Now it is more of a sledgehammer approach,” she says.

On any given day, Rogulja’s lab houses thousands of fruit flies, including a refrigerated room that keeps them from breeding too fast — so the population doesn’t get out of hand.