Monday, June 28, 2004

Sleep is for the Weak...or the sane

If you don't know, my summer "research" (aka free labor) job this summer involves a small science named neuroscience. Perhaps you've heard of it, perhaps not. Anyway, there is a theory that relates Delta Sleep (third cycle of sleep before it reverses on itself and goes to REM) to schizophrenia. Apparently the less Delta Sleep someone gets, the worse the symptoms are...who knew? Anyway, I was looking some stuff up on the inter-web and discovered some information that I was unaware of:

Abnormalities of sleep quantity and sleep depth persist for months into recovery from alcohol dependence, and are more profound in African American alcoholics compared to Europe-American alcoholics. The decay of delta sleep in alcoholics is coupled with impairment in the regulation or plasticity of slow wave sleep.


But why the African Americans? What is it about their DNA that makes them different? I mean isn't it bad enough the people already sterotype them as "unhealthy" drinkers?

Another interesting point:

Psychoactive substances have acute and chronic effects on sleep architecture. Several aspects of sleep are compromised in individuals taking these drugs, depending on the drug. Difficulty in initiating and maintaining sleep as well as poor sleep quality are common in patients on opiates. In fact, heroin addicts seeking treatment often report sleep disturbances, notably insomnia, as precipitating causes of relapse.


Drug studies always have interested me, just what makes this interesting is that SLEEP is what makes people relapse. I wonder how many people took that into account during addiction studies?

So what does this all mean? Probably that I shouldn't stay up late doing whatever it is that I do late at night on the Internet and why all my friends who stay up late and wake up early always feel emotionally unbalanced. Now I really wish I didn't stay up so late at night when I was in grade school to watch TV, but alas, the foilies of youth.

3 Comments:

At 5:13 PM, Blogger Jesus Henry Christos said...

next time you put hard-returns (<hr>) instead of linebreaks (<br>), i breaka-you-face. capiche?

interesting article. are you doing clinical or benchtop research this summer?

 
At 12:34 AM, Blogger DJ I Have No Friends said...

Tabletop. It really isn't so much a job as it is me doing whatever i want. The guy the runs the lab is like, come in whenever, i really don't have anything for you to do. Work is, how you say, sweet.

 
At 2:20 AM, Blogger Jesus Henry Christos said...

btw, the difference might not be genetic (wrt to delta sleep degredation). it's possible that socio-economic/environmental factors could play a large role in the degredation, as seen in the prevalence of hypertension in african-american males.

 

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