New Research Explains Why Light Keeps Us Awake
A recent research from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, USA, partially explains why light keeps us awake and darkness makes us feel sleepy.
A team of researchers examined zebrafish, an animal that has a sleep/wakefulness pattern similar to a human with a transparent visual system that enables scientists to make images of their neurons. For the experiments, the scientists used a protein prokineticin 2 (Prok2).
During the experiment, the researchers discovered that the zebrafish with over-expressed protein Prok2 tended to go to sleep during the day and stayed awake at night.
The scientists discovered that excessive levels of Prok2 raised the level of galanin, which is a neuropeptide found in the brain’s anterior hypothalamus (playing a key role in sleep regulation).
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