Frequent insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, dreaminess, waking up sleepy… Sleep problems make many people miserable. A new study by the New York University School of Medicine found that sleeplessness at night may be related to calcium deficiency.
In order to understand the difference between the stress response of the brain during sleep and waking, Dr. Rudolf Linus, Professor of Neuroscience at New York University School of medicine and researcher of Marine Biology Laboratory, and his colleagues conducted an experimental study using rats. Calcium channels are selective channels in the cell wall, which participate in the whole process of nerve excitation and ensure information exchange in all regions of the brain. However, when the brain is in sleep, calcium channel activity increases. The researchers removed the calcium ion channel numbered “cav3.1”, and found that rats lacking cav3.1 calcium ion channel were more prone to sleep difficulties and shortened sleep time than normal rats. The most important thing is that the brain activity of these rats is also abnormal. During their sleep, there is no low brain wave state, but more like the brain wave in the awake state. This indicates that the rats with cav3.1 calcium channel have never reached a deep sleep state. The experiment also found that lack of deep sleep also caused rats to show symptoms similar to human mental diseases.
Dr Linus said that the latest research has uncovered the important mechanism of normal sleep and also revealed the important role of calcium ion channels in the whole brain function – helping people better enter the state of sleep and get deep sleep.