Sleep Disorders

22 May 2007

Scientists make 25 hour day

If you've ever complained that there weren't enough hours in the day to get things done, be patient. It may not be long before you get some extra time.

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If you've ever complained that there weren't enough hours in the day to get things done, be patient. It may not be long before you get some extra time.

According to BBC News, researchers from the United States and France have conducted an experiment that suggests it might be possible to "stretch" our day beyond 24 hours.

The research, which was published in the May 14 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, had 12 volunteers who were subjected to bright, pulsing light in a controlled environment that blocked out any difference between night and day.

This, in turn, adjusted the natural human circadian rhythm, programmed in many species to match the 24-hour cycle that makes up one day.

According to BBC, using the pulses of bright light, the scientists were able to reprogramme the study subjects, "adding" an average of an extra hour to their day.

Why would this be necessary? "Jet-lag, shift work and circadian disorders such as advanced and delayed sleep phase syndromes are all associated, to different extents, with a condition where the circadian system is out of synchrony with the light/dark cycle," the BBC quotes the scientists as saying. – (HealthDayNews)

Read more:
Sleep Centre

May 2007

 

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Dr Alison Bentley is a general practitioner who has consulted in sleep medicine and sleep disorders, in both adults and children of all ages, for almost 30 years. She also researches and publishes on a number of sleep-related topics both in formal research journals and lay publications including as editor of Sleep Matters, an educational newsletter on sleep disorders for doctors.

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