All articles tagged Latest research on insomnia

The end of insomnia? Scientists discover the ‘switch’ that tells the brain to go sleep

By BEN SPENCER

  • Switch works by regulating neurons in the brain when the body is tired
  • They demonstrated the theory on fruit flies, creating insomniac insects
  • Scientists believe there is a similar group of neurons in the human brain
  • Researchers are now trying to find out how to activate the sleep switch

Scientists think they have discovered the switch in the brain that tells our bodies when to go to sleep.

The discovery, made by neurologists at Oxford University, could pave the way for a treatment to combat sleep disorders such as insomnia.

The scientists think the switch works by regulating neurons, or nerve cells, in the brain. 

Described as a ‘homeostat’ which can tell when someone has been awake for too many hours, the mechanism fires when the body is tired.

Scientists think they have discovered the switch in the brain that tells our bodies when to go to sleep

Scientists think they have discovered the switch in the brain that tells our bodies when to go to sleep

Professor Gero Miesenböck, whose team conducted the research, said: ‘When you’re tired, these neurons in the brain shout loud and they send you to sleep.’

The researchers demonstrated the theory on fruit flies, removing the switch to create insomniac insects.

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