Out-of-sync body clock causes more woes than sleepiness | Science News

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Out-of-sync body clock causes more woes than sleepiness

Bayesian math describes conflicts leading to maladies labeled ‘circadian-time sickness’

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7:00am, October 17, 2016
woman in late-night light

TIME TROUBLES  Timekeeping conflicts arise when internal cues don’t match external ones, such as late-night light.

When the body’s internal sense of time doesn’t match up with outside cues, people can suffer, and not just from a lack of sleep.

Such ailments are similar in a way to motion sickness — the queasiness caused when body sensations of movement don’t match the external world. So scientists propose calling time-related troubles, which can afflict time-zone hoppers and people who work at night, “circadian-time sickness.” This malady can be described, these scientists say, with a certain type of math.

The idea, to be published in Trends in Neurosciences, is “intriguing and thought-provoking,” says neuroscientist Samer Hattar of Johns Hopkins University. “They really came up with an interesting idea of how to explain the mismatch.”

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