Tag Archives: circadian cycles

What happens if your circadian rhythms are out of whack?

Scientists discovered an important molecular link between lung tumor growth and disrupted circadian rhythms, according to a new paper co-authored by a University of Rochester Wilmot Cancer Institute investigator and led by the Scripps Research Institute in California.

Circadian rhythms, sometimes called the “biological clock,” is the cellular process that rules sleep-wake cycles. The World Health Organization has proclaimed that disrupted circadian rhythms are a probable carcinogen.

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The latest research, published in the high-impact journal Science Advances, describes that when the circadian clock gets off track it implicates a cancer-signature gene known as HSF1 that can trigger lung tumors. Lungs are under tight circadian control and seem to be particularly vulnerable to a disrupted biological clock.


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Researchers find ways to help teens get more sleep

Adjusting to a new sleep schedule at the start of the school year can lead to disturbed rest, daytime fatigue and changes in mood and focus for teens. 

Although they need eight to 10 hours of sleep per night to maintain physical health, emotional well-being and school performance, according to the National Sleep Foundation and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, most adolescents get less than eight, especially on school nights.

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Newly published research from RUSH in the journal SLEEP sheds light on how adolescents can get more shut-eye. 

“There are a lot of changes a teen goes through,” said Stephanie J. Crowley, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and the director of the Pediatric Chronobiology and Sleep Research Program at RUSH. “One specifically is a change to sleep biology that happens during puberty.” 

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Daytime eating may benefit mental health

Beating the blues with food? A new study adds evidence that meal timing may affect mental health, including levels of depression- and anxiety-related mood. Investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a founding member of the Mass General Brigham healthcare system, designed a study that simulated night work and then tested the effects of daytime and nighttime eating versus daytime eating only. The team found that, among participants in the daytime and nighttime eating group, depression-like mood levels increased by 26 percent and anxiety-like mood levels by 16 percent. Participants in the daytime-only eating group did not experience this increase, suggesting that meal timing may influence mood vulnerability. Results are published in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Restricting Eating by Time May Help Weight Loss

Recent studies indicate that when we eat may be as relevant as what we eat. To extend the daily fasting period may override the negative health effects of a high-fat diet and prevent obesity, diabetes and liver disease in mice, according to scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

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Science Daily reported that mice limited to eating during an 8 hours period were healthier than mice that ate freely throughout the day, regardless of the quality and content of their diet. The aim of the study was to determine whether obesity and metabolic diseases came from a high-fat diet or from disruption of metabolic cycles. (The Wall Street Journal had much to say about the importance of when we eat.) Continue reading


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