About Us
Write for Us
Media Info
Advertising Info
Sleep cycles

Disrupting natural sleep-wake rhythms causes behaviour, metabolic changes

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 by: Dave Gabriele
Tags: sleep cycles, metabolic changes, health news

Most Viewed Articles

(NewsTarget) Could allowing our lifestyles to disrupt the natural 24 hour rhythm of our bodies affect our behaviour? Researchers from The Rockefeller University and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York have found that disruption of natural circadian rhythms, as seen in shift work or international travel, could be causing significant changes in our brains, bodies and behaviours.

A study published January 25, 2011, in the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), titled "Disruption of circadian clocks has ramifications for metabolism, brain, and behaviour", examined the effects of making subtle changes to the sleep-wake cycles of mice. The mice were placed in a 20 hour light-dark cycle, rather than the normal 24 hour cycle, for 10 weeks. Significant effects were found in the brains and behaviour of the mice.

The mice exhibited changes in metabolic hormones resulting in accelerated weight gain and obesity, as well as behavioral changes such as increased impulsiveness and decreased mental flexibility. "In the brain, circadian-disrupted mice exhibit a loss of dendritic length and decreased complexity of neurons in the prelimbic prefrontal cortex, a brain region important in executive function and emotional control. Disrupted animals show decreases in cognitive flexibility and changes in emotionality consistent with the changes seen in neural architecture."

The Rockefeller and the Mount Sinai research team, led by neuroendocrinology post-doctorate Ilia Karatsoreos, is attempting to map out how environmental disruptions of natural sleep-wake cycles affect human biochemistry in terms of hormones, metabolism and the genes that drive our circadian rhythm. The work suggests that our modern lifestyle could be significantly affecting us in ways not yet understood.

According to Karatsoreos, "The circadian system is a 'web,' with rhythms at the molecular level driving rhythms at the cellular level, which results in rhythms at the tissue level. This can lead to a cascading set of effects throughout the whole organism, and we want to understand how exactly that happens."

New York's Rockefeller University, established in 1901, is a centre for research and graduate education in the biomedical sciences, chemistry, bioinformatics and physics. PNAS is one of the world's most-cited multidisciplinary scientific serials. Since its establishment in 1914, it publishes leading research reports, commentaries, reviews, perspectives and colloquium papers.

[Editor`s Note: NaturalNews is strongly against the use of all forms of animal testing. We fully support implementation of humane medical experimentation that promotes the health and wellbeing of all living creatures.]



About the author

Dave Gabriele, D.Ac, BA, is a registered acupuncturist, a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine and a health researcher helping people in and around the Greater Toronto Area. He is the founder of Life Balance Family Health Care (www.balanceyourlife.ca), an organization committed to providing people with the information and guidance they need to make positive lifestyle changes. Dave has been a teacher of Chinese martial arts since 1997, including the arts of Taiji and Qigong.

Receive Our Free Email Newsletter

Get independent news alerts on natural cures, food lab tests, cannabis medicine, science, robotics, drones, privacy and more.

comments powered by Disqus

Natural News Wire (Sponsored Content)

Science News & Studies
Medicine News and Information
Food News & Studies
Health News & Studies
Herbs News & Information
Pollution News & Studies
Cancer News & Studies
Climate News & Studies
Survival News & Information
Gear News & Information
News covering technology, stocks, hackers, and more