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Nobel Prize Goes to Scientists Studying Sleep

Did you know that animals, plant and humans have a biological clock that enables us to regularly adapt to the days variations?  It is called the circadian rhythm, originating from the Latin words circa meaning “around” and dias meaning “day.”

Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael W. Young are the 2017 recipients of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for, “their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm.”

From the Nobel Assemblies Press Release we learned that:

“Life on Earth is adapted to the rotation of our planet…the three scientists were able to peek inside our biological clock and elucidate its inner workings. Their discoveries explain how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronized with the Earth’s revolutions.”

Their work has “implications for our health and wellbeing.” “There are also indications that chronic misalignment between our lifestyle and the rhythm dictated by our inner timekeeper is associated with increased risk for various diseases.”

Those of you who have been reading our blogs know that this is true for people who suffer from sleep apnea as, “chronic misalignment” disrupts the rhythm of our very important sleep cycle.

I found the following illustration very informative and interesting.



The  circadian clock anticipates and adapts our physiology to the different phases of the day. Our biological clock helps to regulate sleep patterns, feeding behavior, hormone release, blood pressure, and body temperature.

To your health,

Dr. Hilton

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