Our Sleep Phases Depend On Our Body Clock

Sleep PhasesYou must know very well that sometimes, regardless of our being an owl or a lark, it can be easy to wake up early in the morning and start our working day in a good shape. But sometimes, even if you are used to waking up with the sunrise and flying out of your bed with a smile, you are literally unable to open your eyes and begin your day full of energy. It is quite a common issue in our times, and there are plenty of causes of that: chronic stresses, our common lack of physical activities and improper nutrition, getting out of bed too early in the working days and staying in bed too late in the weekends, as well as other sleep imbalances and disorders which most of us are having now. A great deal of modern people admit that they have serious problem with waking up early in the morning, and most of those are convinced that improper sleep or feeling too sleepy in the morning affects their productivity and efficiency to a great extent.

In particular, according to the latest statistics, about 15 per cent of today’s teenagers reported feeling too sleepy in the morning, so they come to school not properly awake. The issue became a point of interest of a scientific team at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, and the experts decided to look closer at the phenomena they called ‘delayed sleep phase disorder’, defined by the authors of the study as a condition when a person can not fall asleep at night and can not wake up in the morning at a conventional time. After collecting some information and analyzing sleep patterns of some people in Australia, the scientists came to the conclusion that such thing as our own body clock can be responsible for the problem. According to Professor Leon Lack, one of the study leaders and the author of the report, those people who have delayed body clock which run longer than 24 hours are most likely to suffer from such problem.

‘Most people have a 24-hour body clock, it’s a natural rhythm that influences sleepiness and core body temperature but for people with delayed sleep phase disorder it takes longer to complete the cycle so they tend to go to bed later and wake up later.’ Professor Lack underlined that in those people whose body clock works normal are usually informed about the time to get up by the amount of sunlight or daylight coming to their bedroom. However, since we are using blinds or heavy curtains, the body does not receive these simple natural signals on time. That is how body clock imbalances start, leading to various sleep disorders and decreased sleep quality. That is, in turn, linked not only to decreased productivity and a lack of success, but also to poorer health, lower life quality, and more stresses. Unfortunately, the problem is sometimes much more serious that it may seem, and it affects overwhelming majority of people around the world.

At that, as the expert is convinced, such constant disruptions in circadian rhythms and other factors turn the mentioned sleep disorder into a chronic problem which can sometimes be very hard to get rid of. The only possible treatment proposed by Professor Lack and his scientific team is a special therapy involving exposing people to a bright light in the beginning of the day. This can be an effective approach to informing the body clock about the necessity to work faster and restoring the natural original circadian rhythms of people. However, further studies and experiments are necessary to prove the effectiveness of the proposed therapy. Professor Lack underlines that it is essential to keep in mind that this serious condition affects many people’s life and should be never overlooked. ‘It causes young people to be late for school and when they do get to school they’re inattentive until their body clock finally wakes up. Adults can also have trouble holding down jobs because they’re always running late for work so it does have a detrimental effect on lives,’ he stated.

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