Friday, April 12, 2024

“The longest REM phase in the winter”

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Humans also enter a state of torpor, more specifically into a “false torpor”. This is what emerged from a study published in the journal Frontiers, in Neuroscience, led by the Charité Medical University in Berlin, which included, in particular, 188 people with sleep-related disorders.

In more detail, according to what emerged from the study, in winter something very similar to hibernation occurs for humans, during the REM phase, the phase in which we dream. In fact, the researchers discovered that during the cold season, due to this phase of “lethargy”, it will be necessary to adapt work and school hours according to the season in order to get up late or, alternatively, even go to bed earlier in the cold seasons, to avoid problems related to Inactive sleep.

All of the people analyzed lived in an urban environment, and therefore with little exposure to natural light and high light pollution. All factors that actually change behaviors are related to seasonality and the amount of light. Despite this, the researchers, led by Aileen Seidler, found several changes in the transition from the hot season to the cold season. More specifically, total sleep time is lengthened by about an hour in the winter months, but what was particularly surprising was the fact that the REM phase was extended by half an hour.

According to the researchers, these results should be confirmed by other research studying a larger sample, but in fact they show that the quality of life will improve if we adapt to this rhythm. Even if we keep our habits unchanged, in winter human physiology slows down and we often feel drained. This is why we must learn to adapt our habits to the seasons ”- he concluded.

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Wynne Dinwiddie
Wynne Dinwiddie
"Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst."
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