Brain cells behind bedtime behavior give hope to people suffering from insomnia


What is your bedtime routine? Drink a glass of milk, brush your teeth, make the bed? Studies have shown that many animals follow normal bedtime behaviors, but so far researchers have not known the neurobiological mechanisms that are activated by these bedtime treatments.

As a result of a series of robust experiments with mice, a new study by researchers at the University of Michigan shed light on what happens in the brain at bedtime. The findings offer a new insight into the parts of the brain that cause sleep onset.

“How do animals go from waking – an active state that includes a reaction to the environment and interaction with the environment – to sleep – a state of rest, characterized by reduced response to the environment, characteristic vibrational patterns of the brain and changes in many physiological processes?” asked the researchers in a new study.

To study this question, they studied nerve activity in mice 20 minutes before they fell asleep. In addition to confirming that the onset of sleep is directly related to bedtime behavior, the results are the first to determine exactly which parts of the brain are activated by these procedures and how they relate to the onset of sleep.

The study included certain groups of neurons in an area of ​​the brain called the lateral hypothalamus, which is a part of the brain known to affect various processes in the body, from regulating feeding behavior to mediating general arousal.

«[In the new study] we identify broadly projective and predominantly glutamatergic neuronal ensembles in the lateral hypothalamus that regulate the motivation to participate in bedtime behavior by building a nest and initiating and intensity sleep at the gate, ”the researchers concluded.

A new study hypothesizes a link between these neuronal ensembles in the lateral hypothalamus and other areas of the brain that are known to regulate sleep. The current idea proposed by the new results is that bedtime behavior plays a vital role in activating areas of the brain that initiate transitions between wakefulness and sleep.

In addition to the fact that researchers offer a new insight into the neurological processes that precede sleep, researchers suggest that these findings may serve as a guide for future treatments. Understanding exactly how our brain prepares us for sleep can help develop new treatments for insomnia around the world.

“Our study provides a critical understanding of the ethological context of sleep and expands our current understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms that control targeted and sleep-related complex behaviors,” the study said. “Because 10-30% of people worldwide suffer from difficulty initiating and maintaining sleep, and available pharmacological interventions pose many risks, a better understanding of the processes that regulate sleep behavior can significantly improve sleep and thus quality of life. for many individuals. ”

A new study was published in the journal Modern biology.

Source: University of Michigan

Brain cells behind bedtime behavior give hope to people suffering from insomnia

Source link Brain cells behind bedtime behavior give hope to people suffering from insomnia