Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Melatonin and tasimelton

For years, some travellers and shift workers have sworn by melatonin.

This is a hormone that regulates the biological clock.

It is made in the brain by a structure called the pineal gland, as darkness sets in after sunset.

Light is the most potent cue for keeping the biological clock in synch with solar time.

The clock then tells the brain when to go to sleep.

The theory of those who use melatonin is that an external dose of it can reset the clock, and thus cause the “go to sleep” signal to be sent at a more convenient moment.

Melatonin can also increase sleepiness during the day, when the pineal gland is not producing it.

Tasimelton is a substance that binds the same receptors in the brain as melatonin does

It is expected that tasimelton will pass the last remaining major test which is to learn about its affects on daytime usage

If it does this then the results could benefit all who suffer from jet lag or shift working

Old people and blind people often suffer from insomnia and tasimelton has advantages over other drugs currently in use for this purpose

Artificial lights and computer screens reduce melatonin levels and here tasimelton could also offer a simple solution

So what are the negatives?

They are not known yet however something will appear for sure

A nice thought though if we could simply adjust our sleep patterns after or during flying with a pill

Lets see

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