We love that morning feeling that makes me say “I woke up fresh today”. But that is not usual. Among other things, there are many things that make us anxious day by day, and sometimes, when it comes time to go to bed, no matter how tired we are, we can’t sleep.
We count the sheep, do breathing exercises and try to test any advice that may lead to sleep. Also, in this way, we should eat the world or at least relax as much as possible in our daily work. We go in search of the desired restful sleep. Also, describing “quiet sleep” is not just a metaphor.
If we do the math, we can easily find it One third of our lives are spent sleeping. When the body asks it will be for something. With feelings and warnings, sooner or later, the moment comes when we activate signals to relax.
We sleep to repair the DNA of neurons
The closest look at the signals that trigger sleep is in our cells. During daily operation, these signals are activated precisely to repair the damage that occurs naturally, inside.
The molecular mechanisms that make us sleep are hidden in the most recent study in animal models. Sleep is essential for all organisms in the nervous system. It has been proven that the ultimate goal of sleep is to repair the damage that DNA does when we are awake. Yes, this is how it sounds.
When we are awake, the homeostatic pressure that puts us to sleep, i.e. fatigue, accumulates in the body. We tend to accumulate fatigue when we are active and empty ourselves when we are asleep. We get minimal fatigue after a full night of good sleep.
The main reason for the increase in homeostatic pressure is the accumulation of DNA damage in neurons. During the normal functioning of all our cells, reactions take place, whose products damage the DNA and, therefore, the genes that transform us into ourselves.
All cells have molecular mechanisms to fight damage, day and night. But when we are awake, when we reach dangerous levels that we cannot bear, neurons are very susceptible to the accumulation of damage. Science has revealed that sleep recruits DNA repair systems, which repair very efficiently, we wake up like new, never better. Thus, the use of the metaphor of “restful sleep” gets all its meaning.
PARP1 sends us to sleep
PARP1 protein is one of the first molecules to respond and activate the mechanisms that stimulate us to sleep. His task is very important: he is responsible for identifying the sites of DNA damage and recruiting the right systems to repair them.
An interesting result is that if PARP1 is inactivated, the feeling of sleep disappears. But this barrier also indicates that DNA mutation repair systems are not activated, which is not a good thing as they are already intuitive.
How many hours of sleep are needed?
In an attempt to find out if there is a minimum number of hours of sleep that leads to the desired restful sleep, the study used zebrafish, an animal model commonly used in studies such as the brain and human sleep. .
Well, after analyzing the relationship between hours of sleep and DNA repair It was concluded that six hours of sleep a night is usually sufficient to adequately reduce our DNA damage.
What if we leave the party?
There is motivation for many and very different neurological mechanisms that regulate wakefulness and sleep cycles.
Motivation, no doubt, alters the fact that we are more likely to stay awake or fall out of the way and fall asleep if the situation requires it. If we are motivated, we can maintain good physical and mental performance, for example by writing an interesting essay, reading a good book or dancing at a fun party. All of this is beyond our usual hours and ignores homeostatic stress.
In nature, establishing relationships with other skeptics, mating opportunities, and the presence of predators clearly generate motivational responses and alter levels of awareness. There are animals that stay awake or sleep longer than normal, and their brains are only half awake and can only open one eye.
Something similar happens to humans when we sleep in a bed that is not ours during a trip. This is called the first night effect. Therefore, it is very interesting to know as much as possible about the processes that alter consciousness and its relationship with waking or going to sleep, because they can lead to complex situations and even conflicts.
Because of its meaning and relevance, we conclude with the beginning of George Louis Borges’ poem “Dream”:
If the dream (as they say) is together
Peace, pure rest of the mind,
Why, if they suddenly wake you up,
Do you feel that a fortune has been stolen from you?
Francisco Jose Esteban Ruiz, Professor of Cell Biology at John University
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