Sleep and dreams are greatly influenced by the surrounding temperature

by Vi Khoa Duong

There are many things that we do not yet know about dreams, but the hypothesis that 'a dream is a means to mentally process the events of the day' is general. For example, it can be explained by this hypothesis that a baby who keeps discovering new things every day spends more than twice as long as adults. A research team at Bern University in Switzerland presented experimental results that the time and timing of the dreamy REM sleep is greatly influenced by the ambient temperature.

Dynamic REM Sleep Modulation by Ambient Temperature and the Critical Role of the Melanin-Concentrating Hormone System: Current Biology (19) 30542-1

Genius Mouse Experiment Reveals How Temperature Affects Our Dreams at Night

Conventionally, was considered a 'dream at the time of the sleep shallow REM sleep', in recent years of research, a dream not only REM sleep, is more deep sleep non-REM sleep is possible to see even we know . However, the more vivid and memorable dreams are what I see when I sleep in REM.

However, when the place to sleep is excessively hot or cold, it may be difficult to dream. Marcus Schmidt, a neuroscientist at Bern University, said, “The thermoregulatory function works during awake and non-REM sleep, which is deep sleep, while thermoregulation does not work during REM sleep, which is the most specific type of sleep. It is one of the aspects, 'the brain thought,' it is not possible to simultaneously perform the 'function to handle the events experienced today' and 'the function to adjust the temperature.'

by withnaomi

To see the effect of ambient temperature on sleep, the research team led by Schmidt focused on the hypothalamus deep within the mouse brain. MCH nerves that make melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) are universally present in the hypothalamus, including the thermoregulatory centers and the sleep centers. Previous studies have already elucidated that MCH nerves are involved in the control of sleep and wakefulness.

The research team prepares mice in which the MCH receptor has been abolished by manipulating the MCH receptor gene. And we observed that sleep in a temperature-controlled environment, including normal mice. Then, it turned out that the time for REM sleep increases as the temperature in the environment rises to the appropriate temperature in normal laboratory mice. On the other hand, mice that are not functioning MCH receptors did not change the time of REM sleep even if the temperature in the environment rises.

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The research team argues from this experiment that MCH is the key to managing the sleeping brain in relation to ambient temperature. Schmidt said, “The amount and timing of REM sleep is fine-tuned to the surrounding environment such as temperature. The results from this experiment show that REM sleep with a clear dream and loss of thermoregulatory function Show how closely they are involved. '

In addition, because the amount and timing of REM sleep change according to the temperature, the brains of dreaming animals, including humans, are evolving to use energy for information processing that does not perform thermoregulation It is considered to be. Schmidt said, 'From the new data we have obtained, the light sleep, REM, is what activates important brain functions and optimizes energy utilization when it is not necessary to spend energy on thermoregulation. Suggesting that. ”

in Science, Posted by log1i_yk