Health: The secret to a good night’s sleep is gentle repetitive movements that reduce alertness, flight study finds
The secret to a good night’s sleep may lie in picking up good vibrations – at least if you’re a fly, one study has concluded.
Researchers from the US found that flies sleep longer when they are gently shaken to sleep – and then wake up feeling more alert – and the same could be true for humans.
In addition, the flies slept more easily with repeated exposure vibrations – suggesting that they gradually learn to relax when subjected to the movements.
The findings could help explain the common practice of lulling babies to sleep, as well as why car journeys can make people sleepy.
The secret to a good night’s sleep may lie in picking up good vibrations – at least if you’re a fly, one study has concluded. In the photo, a woman is rocking a baby to sleep
“Babies like to be rocked to sleep,” said paper author and neuroscientist Kyunghee Koh of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
“But the neural mechanisms underlying this well-known phenomenon remain largely a mystery,” she added.
In their study, Professor Koh and colleagues found that fruit flies stayed asleep longer when exposed to vibrations.
The flies were also found to be less sensitive to the types of light pulses that would normally trigger them quite easily, but were found to be more active after waking up thanks to the ‘sleep credit’ they had accumulated.
In other words, the team explained, the flies acted as if they had slept more than they needed during the shaking, which allowed them to perform better.
“We wanted to set up the fruit fly as a model system to study the mechanisms of sleep induction by mechanical stimulation,” said Professor Koh.
The finding suggests that vibration-induced sleep – as can be experienced in a rocking crib or a car on the move – is similar to normal sleeping in a bed and, at least in the case of flying, helps to perform some vital functions. of peace.
How much extra sleep each of the flies got depended on their genetic background, along with the amplitude and frequency of the vibrations applied, the researchers found. In addition, multiple sensory organs are involved, they said.
When the insects were first vibrated, they became more active than usual – but then the movement gradually put them to sleep.
The team also noted that the flies fell asleep more easily when exposed to the vibrations repeatedly – suggesting the action of an habituation process, a simple form of learning.
Rock-a-fly baby? Researchers from the US found that flies sleep longer when they are gently shaken to sleep – and then wake up feeling more alert – and the same could be true for humans
“Flies learn over time that vibrations are non-threatening, diminishing their response to stimulation, which would otherwise make them alert,” Professor Koh explained.
This suppression of alertness is necessary for vibration-induced sleep, the team said.
In contrast, the researchers found that mutated flies with elevated dopamine levels – making them more vivid – did not fall asleep when they were shaking.
It’s unclear whether similar mechanisms are at work in humans, but the brains of flies and humans are fundamentally similar in how they form and function.
Britons are among the most sleep-deprived people in the world – nearly two in three say they don’t get enough eyes closed.
“Further research can help us develop and optimize sensory stimulation as a sleep aid for humans,” said Professor Koh.
“Our findings suggest it would be worthwhile to personalize the stimulus parameters for each individual over multiple sessions.”
Now that their first study is complete, the researchers’ first goals are to learn more about the underlying neural mechanisms, using the fruit fly as a model system.
They plan to identify the specific neurons in the fly brain that are involved in the vibration-controlled sleep process.
The teak also seeks to determine whether vibration-induced sleep functions as normal sleep with regard to boosting memory and longevity.
Sleeping less than six hours a night has been found to increase the risk of premature death by 12 percent.
Poor sleep has been linked to many serious medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
The full findings of the study have been published in the journal Cell reports.
BAD SLEEP IS THE CRISIS OF CHILDHOOD FLYNESS, STUDY SHOWS
Pediatricians warn that sleep is the ignored culprit causing childhood obesity, as a new study shows a direct link between closed eyes and weight gain.
Experts also warn that poor sleep for just a few nights puts children at increased risk of developing obesity-related cancers, such as liver and ovarian cancer.
Lack of shuteye and poor sleep have been linked to food cravings and a larger waistline
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of childhood obesity in the U.S. has more than tripled since the 1970s, with one in five children being obese.
Research shows that poor sleep causes children to eat more and affect their metabolism.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends nine to eleven hours of sleep for children six to thirteen years old, eight to 10 hours of sleep for teens, and seven to nine hours of sleep for people 18 and older.
For the study, researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Massey Cancer Center followed the sleep-wake cycle of 120 children, ages 6 to 19, for at least five days.
“Childhood obesity very often leads to obesity in adults,” said lead researcher Dr. Bernard Fuemmeler. “This puts them at greater risk of developing obesity-related cancers in adulthood.”