In a recent study reported on by ScienceDaily,  scientists believe that they now know the reason behind the sleep issues sufferers of brain injuries often report.  The study suggests that brain injury victims may produce smaller amounts of melatonin in the brain, a hormone that plays a role in regulating sleep patterns.

The study is reported to have involved 23 subjects with brain injuries – the injury having occurred 14 months ago, on average, as well as 23 subjects with no such injuries.  For two nights, the subjects were studied. The results?  Those without brain injuries produced more melatonin.

The study was supported by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, and was conducted at Monash University in Victoria, Australia.  As far as how to combat sleep issues which stem from brain injuries, PhD Shantha Rajaratnam, alluded to supplementation when he commented on the study: “Future studies should examine whether taking supplemental melatonin can improve sleep in people with brain injuries.”

Sleep is important.  Click here for an interesting article provided by Harvard, which explains why.  It offers several common-sense reasons that should prompt prudent individuals to take sleep seriously.  Among the reasons to get adequate sleep include; learning and memory, weight, cardiovascular health, mood regulation, and disease related immunity.

Journal Reference: J.A. Shekleton, D.L. Parcell, J.R. Redman, J. Phipps-Nelson, J.L. Ponsford, and S.M.W. Rajaratnam. Sleep disturbance and melatonin levels following traumatic brain injury. Neurology, 2010; 74: 1732-1738.  Click Here.


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