Stress, working hours and irregular study and jet lag due to business travel will return with the end of the holidays. A discovery of researchers from McGill and Concordia universities, however, could help mitigate the effects of sleep disturbance on health.
The disturbances of wake cycles sleep and diet can make you feel messed up, put in a bad mood and cause gastrointestinal problems. In the long term, they could lead to more serious consequences. “It could have the effect of depression, obesity and even cancer,” says Shimon Amir, a psychology professor at Concordia University.
With his colleague Nahum, of the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University, Dr. Amir studied the functioning of the “internal clock” human, an area of the brain that regulates the cycle of our system to match the cycles of day. It ensures, for example, that we are tired in the evening, we hunger day and that our body temperature drop at night.
“This clock is made up of several cells, each with its own clock. These must be synchronized so that a coherent signal is produced in the human body, “says Amir. A small protein called vasoactive intestinal dipeptide (DIV) is essential for this synchronization has ever held. However, research by Amir and his colleagues seem to demonstrate that another protein, 4E-BP1, limits the production of DIV.
By eliminating the presence of 4E-BP1 in mice, the researchers noticed that the last two times were recovering faster than other times of the mouse lag. Their “internal clock” also much more resistant to constant exposure to light.
“In mice, 4E-BP1 was removed by genetic manipulation, says Mr Amir. But in the future, we could develop drugs that target this protein and reduces its effect. “We can therefore may soon take a new pill to recover from long nights of study or work night shifts.
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