Struggling to get some good night sleep? Think it is something with your mind that is keeping you up? According to a latest study, your sleep deprivation may not have anything to do with your brain, but a switch outside the brain, monitoring which can bring your much needed sleep back. Researchers at University of California, Los Angeles reported that a gene outside the brain controls the ability to rebound from sleep deprivation. The shocking discovery has raised many eyebrows in the health circuit as its findings could prove to be a great intervention for treatments of insomnia and other sleep disorders.
The finding indicated that increasing the level of Bmal1, a master gene that plays a significant role in regulating sleep patterns, in the skeletal muscle made the mice resistant to sleep deprivation. The scientists were themselves surprised at discovering the importance of the muscle. Repeated experiments assured them that the gene could be playing a critical role. The findings in the research are the first evidence that a biological clock in the muscle could communicate with the brain. The results could prove to be good news to people struggling with irregular sleep bouts due to factors including slight noise, or those with a job with irregular sleep cycles, such as military.
The findings published in the journal elife suggested that turning Bmal1 off throughout the brain and body in mice using a molecular genetic technique, impaired their ability to recover from sleep deprivation. Restoring the gene in the skeletal muscle enabled the group of mice to recover from their sleep problem, whereas restoring the gene in the brain, surprisingly, did not. Researchers also noted, that increasing the level of this gene in skeletal muscle made mice less sleepy after longer periods of sleep deprivation.
The scientists believe that in the future people will produce a pill that increases the level of Bmal1 in the muscle which can solve the problem of insomnia, which is taking over the world so rapidly. Until that is done. Here are some foods that can help induce good sleep,and foods that may be ruining a good part of your slumber, by keeping you awake.
Foods For Good Sleep
Milk is a great sleep supporter. It contains tryptophan, an amino acid which converts into serotonin. Serotonin is known to induce calming effects in the brain. Lack of calcium is also one of the most common causes of disturbed sleep patterns, so get your fill of milk daily.
Experts believe that a bowlful of cherries can send you off to good sleep. Cherries are one of the few natural foods that contain melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It is known to regulate your sleep and wake cycles and control the internal body clock.
Foods That May Be Ruining Your Sleep
If you thought sipping some wine before bedtime can help you unwind, you couldn't be farther from the truth. In fact, it may result in restlessness, headaches, sweating and worse, nightmares! Drinking wine just before going to sleep interferes with the sleep process and prevents your body from entering the deep stages of sleep (REM sleep), thus increasing your chances of feeling tired the next morning.
Although it contains only a small amount of caffeine, it is enough to trigger the nervous system, heart and muscle functions by encouraging the release of certain chemicals in the brain called 'neurotransmitters'. It's better to cut off all forms of caffeine like chocolate, cola, tea and even decaffeinated coffee from your diet at least four to six hours before hitting the sack.
3.Ice-Cream and Heavy Desserts
Struggling to catch a sleep, perhaps you have your bowlful of dessert to blame. Ice -cream contains lot of fats and is loaded with sugar. Close to bedtime, your body won't have enough time to burn the fat and that can leave you restless. Also, consuming other fatty and fried foods may lead to a fragmented sleep.
Sleep deprivation and insomnia can result in a host of ill effects ranging from irritability, irregular sleep patterns to depression and anxiety. These dietary tip may come in handy for the much needed zzzz.