Sleepless Fruit Flies Could Help Human Insomniacs

Interesting article on the NPR Website concerning the close connection between the sleep of fruit flies and that of humans. Fruit flies sleep at night and stay awake during daytime. Fruit flies also have insomnia, and they need sleep to function properly. Therefore, fruit flies are viewed as good research subjects to solve human insomnia problems. Of course the goal is to “to make possible a new generation of sleeping pills that gently tweak the brain pathways associated with a specific type of insomnia.” Not getting to sleep successfully when first getting into bed is  termed “sleep onset insomnia.” And getting to sleep initially, waking and then not being able to get back to sleep is called “sleep maintenance insomnia.” Medication is used for the first type and not the latter because of morning drowsiness. This research is about finding medication for sleep maintenance insomnia.

This is an interesting article, but it again points out all the research being done on medication to get you to sleep instead of investigating what is going on psychically that is keeping you from going to sleep. All medications have side effects. Getting to sleep naturally does not. That’s where In Pursuit of Sleep will come in. Plus, it will work for both types of insomnia.

UCSF Study: Lack of Sleep and Illness

A new study by the University of California — San Francisco reinforces the idea that to stay healthy we need to get plenty of sleep.

“…people who sleep six hours a night or less are four times more likely to catch a cold when exposed to the virus, compared to those who spend more than seven hours a night in slumber land.”

The lead author of the study was  Aric Prather, PhD, assistant professor of Psychiatry at UCSF, who also said that, “Short sleep was more important than any other factor in predicting subjects’ likelihood of catching cold.”

Not only that:

“…previous studies have shown that people who sleep fewer hours are less protected against illness after receiving a vaccine. Other studies have confirmed that sleep is among the factors that regulate T-cell levels.”

Hopefully, In Pursuit of Sleep will be able to help when it is published in the October/November timeframe. Stay tuned for updates.