Tuesday January 21, 2020

Mystery Solved: Why Do You Feel Sleepy When You Are Sick?

The nemuri protein fights germs with its inherent antimicrobial activity and it is secreted by cells in the brain to drive prolonged, deep sleep after an infection.

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The nemuri protein fights germs with its inherent antimicrobial activity and it is secreted by cells in the brain to drive prolonged, deep sleep after an infection.
The nemuri protein fights germs with its inherent antimicrobial activity and it is secreted by cells in the brain to drive prolonged, deep sleep after an infection. Pixabay

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have found a gene that acts as a direct link between illness and the need for more sleep.

In a study of over 12,000 lines of fruit flies, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in the US found the single gene, called nemuri, that increases the need for sleep.

The nemuri protein fights germs with its inherent antimicrobial activity and it is secreted by cells in the brain to drive prolonged, deep sleep after an infection.

“While it’s a common notion that sleep and healing are tightly related, our study directly links sleep to the immune system and provides a potential explanation for how sleep increases during sickness,” said Amita Sehgal, Professor at the varsity.

Without the nemuri gene, flies were more easily aroused during daily sleep, and their acute need for an increase in sleep — induced by sleep deprivation or infection — was reduced.

sleep
Over expression of nemuri increased sleep in bacteria-infected flies and led to their increased survival compared to non-infected control flies. Pixabay

On the other hand, sleep deprivation, which increases the need for sleep, and to some extent infection, stimulated nemuri to be expressed in a small set of fly neurons nestled close to a known sleep-promoting structure in the brain.

Over expression of nemuri increased sleep in bacteria-infected flies and led to their increased survival compared to non-infected control flies.

sleep
Moreover, the researchers, in the study published in the journal Science, noted that an immune cell molecule — interleukin-1 (IL-1) — is implicated in human sleep.  Pixabay

In response to infection, nemuri appears to kill microbes, most likely in the peripheral parts of the fruit fly body, and increases sleep through its action in the brain.

Also Read: Train Your Brain By Following Good Habits Constantly

Moreover, the researchers, in the study published in the journal Science, noted that an immune cell molecule — interleukin-1 (IL-1) — is implicated in human sleep.

IL-1 accumulates after prolonged wakefulness and appears to promote sleep, suggesting that nemuri is a working link between immune function and sleep. (IANS)

Next Story

Follow These Tips to Stick to Your Fitness Resolution

8 ways to stick to your fitness resolution

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Fitness regime
One of the most important resolutions that is made by many is to live a healthy lifestyle and practice a sustainable fitness regime. Lifetime Stock

With a brand new year most of us contemplate on our flawed decisions and make resolutions to do better in the coming year. One of the most important resolutions that is made by many is to live a healthy lifestyle and practice a sustainable fitness regime.

Studies suggest that many resolutions are broken within the very first month of the year, while several others give up as the year ends due to irregular working patterns or low will power or even lack of perseverance. Amaresh Ojha, CEO and Founder, Gympik suggest few ways that might help one to stick to their fitness resolution.

Fitness regime
Read what can help you improve, in terms of both your health and fitness. Lifetime Stock

Self-awareness

Change starts when you measure where you stand and how far you need to go. You need self-awareness before you can achieve self-improvement. Keep a regular check on your growth cycle and constantly observe and read what can help you improve, in terms of both your health and wellness.

Maintain a daily journal

Maintain a workout journal to record each workout you do. It is interesting to look back when you see the progress you’ve made. Depending on your capability, make smaller changes such as run 100 meters more than the past week, do 1-2 more reps more with an increased weight, increase your workout time by 10 minutes etc.

Fitness breakfast
Do not skip your breakfast if you want to achieve your fitness goal. Lifetime Stock

Don’t skip breakfast

You must not skip breakfast as it is the first meal of the day and it helps in breaking your overnight fast. If you skip your breakfast, you add to this fast which might affect your metabolism. So, make it a habit to have breakfast within two hours of waking up. Consuming a healthy breakfast reinstates the glucose levels in the body and lowers your stress levels.

Don’t beat yourself up

You may skip a yoga or cardio session once in a blue moon, which won’t make much of a difference. But if you skip them for days this will disrupt your healthy lifestyle and you will notice strength losses. In order to return your body to pre-holiday levels, begin with 10 to 12 minutes of cardio at a normal intensity. Then gradually, add time till you get back to your previous workout duration. To return to weight training, use the same resistance as before but lessen your reps by about a third and then gradually increase going back to your normal workout patterns.

Eat at regular intervals

It is important that you plan your meals to avoid last-minute hunger-driven decisions which may lead to unhealthy eating habits. Once you disrupt your eating patterns, it is difficult to get back to the rhythm. So, eat as per your diet but at regular intervals so that you do not gain or lose weight in an unhealthy way.

Use health monitoring/fitness apps

Use fitness and weight monitoring apps to have a better understanding of your fitness journey. Install your favourite fitness app and keep a track of your everyday growth.

Exercise wherever and whenever

Do not restrict yourself to gyms and aerobic classes when it comes to exercising. Walk a few extra miles, whenever possible. Moreover, research says that household chores like cooking, laundry, cleaning your car or mopping burn a substantial amount of calories.

Also Read- Students who Use Internet Excessively Likely to be Anxious During Tests: Study

Take one step at a time

Last but not the least, go ahead even if you take small steps. It happens to many of us often that if we miss a day of exercise or have a cheat day, we lose focus and feel like we have failed. But that is not the case, we must understand that we are in a continuous process of improvement and every time we fail, there is always the next day to get on track. Do not feel pressured to do it all at once or nothing at all. (IANS)