Circadian Rhythm – The Science behind Healthy Sleep

Circadian-Rhythm-science-behind-good-sleepAt Millennium Sleep Labs we are dedicated to not only diagnosing and treating sleep disorders but to educating what the effects of sleep loss can have on the system. Today we are getting a little technical by looking how having a sleep disorder can disrupt your Circadian Rhythm and affect the enzymes that your body produces.

Circadian (∼24-hour) timing systems pervade all kingdoms of life and effect behavior and physiology in humans. The consequences of disruption to the circadian system and sleep are profound and include myriad metabolic ramifications. If not addressed, the effects of such disruption will continue to cause widespread health problems; therefore, implementation of the numerous medical, behavioral, and pharmaceutical interventions can help restore circadian system alignment and bring the individual back to normal sleep.

In humans, sleep is normally timed to occur during the biological night, when body temperature is low and melatonin is synthesized. Disruption of the circadian rhythms can occur in shift work, jet lag, or by the effects of a sleep disorder. Here is a transcript of the science behind how the body produces and distributes critical enzymes while we sleep.

Mistimed sleep leads to a reduction of rhythmic transcripts in the human blood transcriptome from 6.4% at baseline to 1.0% during forced desynchrony of sleep and centrally driven circadian rhythms. Transcripts affected are key regulators of gene expression, including those associated with chromatin modification (methylases and acetylases), transcription (RNA polymerase II), translation (ribosomal proteins, initiation, and elongation factors), temperature-regulated transcription (cold inducible RNA-binding proteins), and core clock genes including CLOCK and ARNTL (BMAL1). We also estimated the separate contribution of sleep and circadian rhythmicity and found that the sleep-wake cycle coordinates the timing of transcription and translation in particular. The data show that mistimed sleep affects molecular processes at the core of circadian rhythm generation and imply that appropriate timing of sleep contributes significantly to the overall temporal organization of the human transcriptome.

Sleep/wake timing shifts occur naturally throughout one’s life, however sleep disorders are sustained and potentially harmful disruptions to these natural sleep patterns. In some cases sleep disruption can be the natural effects of environmental, psychosocial, and biological factors. At Millenium Sleep Labs we are focused on testing and treating specific sleep disorders that are outside these natural and normal environmental, psychosocial, and biological factors. If you feel you are suffering from a sleep disorder please contact a professional to help you maintain or rediscover your natural Circadian Rhythm!


Clinical Key; Circadian Rhythm and Sleep Disruption: Causes, Metabolic Consequences, and Countermeasures

Clinical Key; Mistimed sleep disrupts circadian regulation of the human transcriptome

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