Dopamine helps to regulate sleep, say researchers
Dopamine could be used to help regulate people's sleep, a new
investigation by a group of researchers in Spain has
The neurotransmitter is found in the pineal gland, which helps
control the body's circadian rhythm - or the way the brain adapts
to day and night.
Currently, dopamine receptors only appear in the pineal gland when
night-time is almost over.
Therefore, the scientists believe it could be used to control the
production of the hormone melatonin, which is released earlier in
the night and regulates the body's metabolic activity during
Potentially, this could help to reduce drowsiness and the onset of
sleep, particularly when helping individuals suffering from jet lag
and sleep disorders, or those who work at night.
Two studies presented at the recent Sleep 2012 conference in
Boston revealed people who do not get enough shut-eye are more
likely to choose unhealthy food when they need to eat.
Posted by Michael Ewing