Insomnia, Melatonin, Circadian Rhythms discussed on Quirks and Quarks Complete Show from CBC Radio - Did you hear that voice? It could be your brain looking for patterns; Pro fighters help scientists understand evolution of concussions; and more

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Isn't directly tied to sleepiness it's sort of a promoter of sleeping when it's supposed to occur but more important than that what we find is in individuals who who can't perceive light these still have a circadian rhythm they still have a melatonin cycle so they have melatonin that rises and falls it's just that it is not coordinated with the with the twenty four hour day and so compared to individuals that perceive light do we have it among people that are blind you see that the end up suffering from various sleep disorders so they'll have excessive sleepiness during daytime at certain times of the year and then other times of the year they might actually suffer from insomnia and that's because this cycle of melatonin seems to be shifting over time and so they're sleepiness and wakefulness is also shifting as well you know it turns out that our understanding of how melatonin is actually regulated and it's linked to perception of light a lot of that understanding comes from research with people that have different degrees of blindness so you have individuals who can still perceive light thought there considered legally blind and in in those individuals the melatonin cycle circadian rhythms everything seems to be normal and properly synchronized with the 24hour day but in people with total blindness who do not perceive light at all uh this is where their circadian rhythms their melatonin cycle becomes de synchronized and so our understanding of how light synchronizes uh melatonin secretion and are are now 24hour circadian rhythm sleepiness and wakefulness and all of that a lot of that understanding comes from research that was done among the uh among individuals with different degrees of blindness.

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