Tuesday November 12, 2019

Avoid Staring Screen Before Bedtime

Insufficient sleep is associated with impaired immune responses, depression, anxiety and obesity in children and adolescents.

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A person using Smartphone, Wikimedia

Using mobile phones or watching TV in a dark bedroom just ahead of bedtime can sabotage your sleep more than when used in a well lit room or not using them at all, researchers say.

“While previous research has shown a link between screen use and the quality and length of young people’s sleep, ours is the first study to show how room lighting can further influence this,” said lead author Michael Mireku from the University of Lincoln in the UK.

Insufficient sleep is associated with impaired immune responses, depression, anxiety and obesity in children and adolescents.

The study, published in the journal Environment International, found that night-time use of phones, tablets and laptops is consistently associated with poor sleep quality, insufficient sleep, and poor perceived quality of life.

sleeping, impairment, inflammation, SLeep
  Insufficient sleep is associated with impaired immune responses, depression, anxiety and obesity in children and adolescents. . Pixabay

For the study, the research team collected data from 6,616 adolescents aged between 11 and 12 and more than 70 per cent reported using at least one screen-based device within one hour of their bedtime.

They were asked to self-report a range of factors including their device use in both lit and darkened rooms, their weekday and weekend bedtimes, how difficult they found it to go to sleep and their wake up times.

The results showed that those who used a phone or watched television in a room with a light on were 31 per cent more likely to get less sleep than those who didn’t use a screen.

mobile phone
Using mobile phones or watching TV in a dark bedroom just ahead of bedtime can sabotage your sleep. VOA

 

Also Read:Alzheimer’s Linked To Improper Sleep In Elderly: Study
The likelihood increased to 147 per cent if the same activity took place in the dark.

It has been reported that globally, 90 per cent of adolescents are not sleeping the recommended nine to 11 hours per night, which has coincided with an increase in the use of screen-based media devices.

Previous studies have shown that sufficient sleep duration and quality are vital in childhood to maintain physical and mental development. (IANS)

Next Story

Not Neurons But Stress Hormone Control Your Body Clocks

The body clocks are controlled by the stress hormone

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Stress hormone
Stress hormone control everything from sleep needs to body temperature. Pixabay

Stress hormone, and not neurons, manage the fixed circadian rhythm that controls everything from sleep needs to body temperature, the researchers have found.

Our internal clock is controlled by some very distinct hereditary genes, known as clock genes. These genes are particularly active in the so-called suprachiasmatic nucleus area of the brain.

However, these areas of the brain are not directly linked by neurons, and this made researchers at the University of Copenhagen curious.

Using lab tests, the team demonstrated that the circadian rhythm is controlled by the stress hormone, corticosterone.

“In humans, the hormone is known as cortisol, and although the sleep rhythm in rats is the opposite of ours, we basically have the same hormonal system,” said Associate Professor Martin Fredensborg Rath from the Department of Neuroscience.

In the study with the stress hormone corticosterone, the researchers removed the suprachiasmatic nucleus in a number of rats.

As expected, this removed the circadian rhythm of the animals.

Stress hormone
Research demonstrated that the circadian rhythm and sleep cycle is controlled by the stress hormone. Pixabay

However, the circadian rhythm of the cerebellum was restored when the rats were subsequently implanted with a special programmable micropump.

In this case, however, the researchers used the pump to emit doses of corticosterone at different times of the day and night, similar to the animals’ natural rhythm.

“Nobody has used these pumps for anything like this before. So technically, we were onto something completely new,” said Rath.

With the artificial corticosterone supplement, researchers were again able to read a rhythmic activity of clock genes in the animals.

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“This is interesting from a scientific point of view, because it means that we have two systems – the nervous system and the hormonal system – that communicate perfectly and influence one another, all in the course of a reasonably tight 24-hour programme,” Rath elaborated.

The researchers now plans to study other rhythmic hormones in a similar manner, including hormones from the thyroid gland. (IANS)