BBC’s Day of the Body Clock (BBC News / PNAS / Science / NHS Choices)

Summary

Cancer, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, infections and obesity have been linked to insufficient and / or disrupted sleep.

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Reference

Gallagher, J. (2014). ‘Arrogance’ of ignoring need for sleep. London: BBC Health News, May 12th 2014.

Irregular sleep patterns have been linked to higher cancer risk in mice.

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Reference

Gallagher, J. (2015). Poor sleeping patterns link to cancer. London: BBC Health News, July 21st 2015.

This relates to:

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Van Dycke, KC. Rodenburg, W. [and] van Oostrom, CT. [et al] (2015). Chronically alternating light cycles increase breast cancer risk in mice. Current Biology: CB, July 20th 2015, Vol.25(14), pp.1932-7. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).

A related appraisal:

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Reference

Night shifts ‘linked to increased breast cancer risk’. London: NHS Choices Behind the Headlines, July 21st 2015.

Chronotherapy

There is said to be growing interest in the science of chronotherapy i.e. the better alignment of medical treatments to circadian rhythms:

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Reference

Gallagher, J. (2014). Chronotherapy: the science of timing drugs to our Body Clock. London: BBC Health News, May 13th 2014.

More on Circadian Rhythms and the Potential for Chronotherapy

An animal study monitoring the levels of cell functioning in 12 tissues through the day discovered changes in activity just before dawn and dusk. This understanding might help with chronotherapy; potentially enabling better timing in the administration of medications to hit sweet-spots in the body clock.

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Gallagher, J. (2014). Body clock: ‘Rush hour’ transformation discovered. London: BBC Health News, October 28th 2014.

This relates to:

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Zhang, R. Lahens, NF. [and] Ballance, HI. [et al] (2014). A circadian gene expression atlas in mammals: implications for biology and medicine. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. October 27th 2014. [Epub ahead of print].

See also:

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Gallagher, J. Buchanan, R. [and] Gill, V. [et al] (2014). Body clock: what makes you tick? London: BBC Health News, May 2014.

Possibly also of interest:

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Gallagher, J. (2014). Night work ‘throws body into chaos’. London: BBC Health News, January 21st 2014.

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Archer, SN. Laing, EE. [and] Möller-Levet, CS. [et al] (2014). Mistimed sleep disrupts circadian regulation of the human transcriptome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. February 11th 2014, 111(6), pp.E682-91. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).

Type 2 diabetes is more common among shift workers:

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Reference

Gallagher, J. (2014). Shift workers ‘face type 2 diabetes risk’. London: BBC Health News, July 25th 2014.

The link between long working hours and type 2 diabetes tends to be more prevalent among individuals of low socioeconomic status:

Kivimäki, M. Virtanen, M. Kawachi, I. [et al] (2014). Long working hours, socioeconomic status, and the risk of incident type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis of published and unpublished data from 222 120 individuals. Lancet, Diabetes and Endocrinology. January 2015; 3(1): 27-34. Full Text Link.

The Role of Sleep in Learning / Memory Formation

Researchers at New York University School of Medicine and Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School may have uncovered sleep’s role in the mechanisms of memory.

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Reference

Gallagher, J. (2014). Sleep’s memory role discovered. London: BBC Health News, June 6th 2014.

This relates to:

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Yang, G. Lai, CS. [and] Cichon, J. [et al] (2014). Sleep promotes branch-specific formation of dendritic spines after learning. Science, June 6th 2014, 344(6188), pp.1173-8. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).

More circumstantial evidence indicating an association between poor sleep quality, impaired memory formation and possibly the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease is discussed elsewhere.

According to research at Northwestern University, Chicago, it may be possible to reduce levels of unconscious racist or sexist bias by manipulating how the brain learns during sleep.

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Reference

Gallagher, J. (2015). Sleep training ‘may reduce racism and sexism’. London: BBC Health News, May 29th 015.

Possibly also of interest:

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Sleep deprivation may affect memory. London: NHS Choices Behind the Headlines, July 23rd 2014.

Learning in early life (and just possibly in later life), too, appears to benefit from regular and lengthy naps:

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Reference

Gallagher, J. (2015). Regular naps are ‘key to learning’. London: BBC Health News, January 13th 2015.

This relates to:

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Reference

Seehagen, S. Konrad, C. Herbert, JS. [and] Schneider, S. (2015). Timely sleep facilitates declarative memory consolidation in infants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. January 12th 2015. [Epub ahead of print].

See also:

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Reference

Napping ‘key’ to babies’ memory and learning. London: NHS Choices Behind the Headlines, January 13h 2015.

Official Statistics (HSCIC)

People working shifts (in England) tend to have higher rates of obesity and long-term health problems than the general population (i.e. those working normal hours), according to HSCIC Health Survey for England statistics on shift work:

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Reference

Gallagher, J. (2014). Shift workers ‘sicker and fatter’. London: BBC Health News, December 15th 2014.

An appraisal, and some practical advice, from NHS Choices:

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Reference

Shift workers more likely to report poor health. London: NHS Choices; Behind the Headlines, December 18th 2014.

Blue Light and Electronic Entertainment

Research at Harvard Medical School has shown that blue light, the wavelength commonly used by smartphones, tablets and LED lighting, is able to disrupt the body clock. Blue light in the evening / bed-time is able to reduce or prevent the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. It can take longer to get to sleep using an e-reader than a paper book, resulting in poorer quality sleep and more tiredness the following morning.

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Reference

Gallagher, J. (2014). E-readers ‘damage sleep and health,’ doctors warn. London: BBC Health News, December 23rd 2014.

This relates to:

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Chang, AM. Aeschbach, D. [and] Duffy, JF. [et al] (2014). Evening use of light-emitting eReaders negatively affects sleep, circadian timing, and next-morning alertness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). December 22nd 2014. [Epub ahead of print].

More recently:

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Gallagher, J. (2015). Phones need ‘bed mode’ to protect sleep. London: BBC Health News, November 15th 2015.

This relates to:

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Reference

Gringras, P. Middleton, B. [and] Skene, DJ. (2015). Bigger, brighter, bluer-better? current light-emitting devices – adverse sleep properties and preventative strategies. Frontiers in Public Health. October 13th 2015, Vol.3, pp.233. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).

Sleep Deprivation / Sleep Cycles / Purpose of Sleep

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Reference

Who, what, why: Is surviving on 20-minute naps bad for you?. London: BBC Health News / BBC NewsMagazine, May 13th 2015.

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Ghosh, P. (2015). Why do we sleep? London: BBC Health News / BBC NewsMagazine, May 15th 2015.

Sporting Ability

The body clock has an impact of up to 26% on sporting ability:

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Reference

Gallagher, J. (2015). Bedtime ‘has huge impact on sport’. London: BBC Health News, January 30th 2015.

This relates to:

Full Text Link (Note: This article requires a suitable Athens password, a journal subscription or payment for access).

Reference

Facer-Childs, E. [and] Brandstaetter, R. (2015). The impact of circadian phenotype and time since awakening on diurnal performance in athletes. Current Biology. January 29th 2015. [Epub ahead of print].

Susceptibility to Common Colds?

Shorter sleep duration / sleep deprivation appears to be associated with increased susceptibility to the common cold:

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Reference

Does lack of sleep make you susceptible to common cold?. London: NHS Choices Behind the Headlines, September 1st 2015.

This relates to:

Full Text Link (Note: This article requires a suitable Athens password, a journal subscription or payment for access).

Reference

Prather, AA. Janicki-Deverts, D. [and] Hall, MH. [et al] (2015). Behaviorally assessed sleep and susceptibility to the common cold. Sleep, September 2015; 38(9): pp.1353-9. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).

Coffee and the Body Clock

Caffeine delays the human circadian clock and modifies cellular timekeeping via an adenosine receptor-dependent mechanism. Drinking the equivalent of a double espresso three hours before sleep can “turn back” the body clock by about one hour. This may have implications for various sleep conditions.

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Reference

A coffee in the evening turns the body clock back by around an hour. London: Medical Research Council (MRC), September 16th 2015.

See also:

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Reference

Gallagher, J. (2015). Coffee has secret trick to stop sleep. London: BBC Health News, September 17th 2015.

Circannual Rhythm (Body Calendar)

On the annual clock, known as the circannual rhythm:

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Reference

Gallagher, J. (2015). Body’s ‘chemical calendar’ discovered. London: BBC Health News, September 25th 2015.

Global Sleep Patterns

Global sleeping patterns are being investigated using data harvested by the Entrain app:

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Reference

Gallagher, J. (2016). Global sleeping patterns revealed by app data. London: BBC Health News, May 7th 2016.

This relates to:

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Reference

Walch, OJ. Cochran, A. [and] Forger, DB. (2016). A global quantification of “normal” sleep schedules using smartphone data. Science Advances. May 6th 2016, 2016; 2 : e1501705.

The Economic Costs of Sleep Deprivation

A report by Rand Europe estimates a loss equivalent to 1.86% of economic growth:

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Reference

Hope, K. (2016). Sleep deprivation ‘costs UK £40bn a year’. London: BBC Health News / BBC Business News, November 30th 2016.

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About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
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