How many of us have real problems with waking up early in the morning? How hard it is sometimes to get out of bed and make yourself start your day? This problem should be pretty well familiar to millions of people. Scientists at the Northwestern University have found a new theory about those who like staying in bed till the noon time. They explain this tendency with a certain gene loss. This gene received a name “twenty four” and is reported to be able to mess up our sleep-awake cycle, this way making much harder for many of us to awaken. The findings of this study were recently published in one of the issues of Nature magazine.
The circadian clock is something that drives our organism, along with other natural things and mechanisms, in sleeping and awake mode. Our circadian rhythm is regulated by special protein called PER, and the 24 gene turned out to be a key component for producing PER protein. In other words, when 24 gene is absent, too little protein PER is produced and found in brain neurons, therefore, the sleep-awake cycle is disturbed.
During the Northwestern study, the scientists used for experiments the species of the flies, Drosophila melanogaster. However, the findings are completely applicable to human beings as well. Dr Ravi Allada, on of the leaders of the Northwestern study, comments on the experiments during the study as the following: “The function of a clock is to tell your system to be prepared, that the sun is rising, and it’s time to get up. The flies without the twenty-four gene did not become much more active before dawn. The equivalent in humans would be someone who has trouble getting out of bed in the morning.”
Those who suffer from chronic sleep disorders are well aware of how this everything happens. If you missed that special point, just several minutes which you could have used to fall asleep, there’s no point in turning and tossing in your bed anymore. You’ve lost your chance, my friend! In such case, most likely you will not be able to fall asleep till the morning, and your risks of feeling restless, exhausted and worn out in the morning are huge. However, recently American specialists found a new way to fight against insomnia. They say that the most effective strategy to beat it is getting out of bed as soon as you realize that you can’t fall asleep.
A group of scientists leaded by Daniel Buysse at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine studied sleep patterns of 79 old adults (average age 72) who suffered from chronic insomnia. The participants used to undergo seances of special therapy, which included behavioral treatment or reading educational materials about sleep disorders. They were all recommended getting out of their beds in case if they could not falls asleep for 15-20 minutes.
The experiments lasted for 4 weeks and after this period of time, about two thirds of the participants reported about considerable improvements and positive response on the behavioral intervention they underwent. Some of the participants were even convinced that they managed to get rid of insomnia completely. Moreover, after 6-months period of time, the participants were invited to the research facilities again to monitor their sleep patterns. Scientists were surprised to see that no one of the participants did not demonstrate tendencies to developing more of sleep disorders.
“A lot of insomniacs spend a lot of time lying in bed worrying about their sleep, among other things.If you’re not ready to fall asleep, don’t lie down in bed and try to force yourself to sleep. And if you wake up in the middle of the night and don’t fall back asleep easily, get out of bed. You don’t want to have any linkage between the experience of lying in bed and being awake,” says Thomas Neylan, a specialist at the University of California. Every fifth person on Earth suffers from chronic insomnia. It is a very serious problem which in most cases leads to serious mental disorders and somatic diseases.