Body clock

2017 Nobel prize winners : the first to be awarded in the field of Sleep Medicine!

Congratulations to the 2017 Nobel Prize Winners in Physiology or Medicine : Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young. Their work was in discovering molecular mechanisms crucial to control of the circadian rhythm (body clock).

Hall, Rosbash and Young used fruit flies as specimens, isolating a gene that controlled the fly’s daily biological rhythm. From their work, this has led to a much better understanding of biological rhythms in other species… including humans.

Circadian Rhythm Disturbances (CRD) comprise a large proportion of Sleep Medicine, and accounts for a notable number of sleep disorders – particularly in childhood an adolescents.

At Adelaide Sleep, we loudly congratulate Hall Rosbash and Young for their ever-enduring work, and amazing accomplishments! Thankyou!

© APSS 2017

Blue light and Body Clock Problems

Does your body clock feel as though it isn’t running at 24hours? Are you sleeping too early, too late, or all over the place? Then perhaps you have a Circadian Rhythm Disturbance (CRD) and blue light therapy may be able to help you.

Your body clock (Circadian Rhythm) runs at slightly longer than 24hours, but most of us can realign our body clock if needed, with the help of external cues called zeitgebers. When your central body clock generator malfunctions, or those external cues do not help as well as they should, then you could develop a Circadian Rhythm Disturbance (CRD).

The commonest CRD is Delayed Sleep Phase and is commonly seen in the young. Free Running Rhythm (now known as Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Rhythm) and Advanced Sleep Phase can also disrupt your sleep.

If you can’t control your sleep-time, or wake-time, you’ll arise unrefreshed and subsequently become tired, sleepy, and performing at school or work will be difficult.

The typical adolescent with a CRD will be difficult to rouse in the morning, sleeps in often, falls asleep at school, under-performs during testing, and won’t go to sleep at an appropriate time.

Realigning your body clock is easy, and includes the use of sleep timing methods, blue light therapy, and Melatonin. This re-entrainment program should only be performed after exclusion of other sleep disorders, and under the direction of a Specialist in this field. A home sleep study or use of a CPAP machine won’t be able to address Circadian Rhythm problems.

If you think that your Circadian Rhythm isn’t what it should be, call us for a consultation.

© APSS 2015