Researchers at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, have shown that, after all, there can be such a thing as a restful sleep.
His study, which was published in Nature Cell Biology Earlier this month, he explained that the body replenishes the thin collagen fibers during sleep to keep us active and alert throughout the day. Collagen, one of the most abundant proteins in the body, is also responsible for keeping the skin plump and beautiful.
If further research in this regard is successful, the researchers hope that their discovery can be instrumental in understanding, and perhaps even delaying, aging.
How to be beautiful and achieve more
Collagen can be considered as the glue that holds the body together. It consists of hard and insoluble structures known as fibrils, which act as scaffolding to provide structure to the body.
By the time we are 17, all the permanent collagen in the body is already made. What is left are the thinnest strands that detangle every day and are remade every day, as long as you have guessed it, you get a restful sleep.
Consider the size of this collagen: the study analyzed both the thickest fibrils that are permanent and 200 nanometers (less than the width of a human hair) and the thinner fibrils that measure 50 nm in diameter. It is during sleep that these thinner fibrils are replenished.
Now, it turns out that the genes that encode our body clock, an intracellular clock that governs when we sleep, when we wake up and when we are hungry, are also responsible for encoding these thinner collagen fibrils. Ergo, these thinner fibrils play a key role in keeping us active and receptive to the rigors of the day.
What does age have to do with it?
As time passes, the capacities of the collagen, along with the thinner fibrils, deteriorate and signs of aging begin to appear. For example, this explains the tendency of the skin to yield as a person ages.
For this study, the researchers raised mice that lacked the genes to encode the body’s clock. Then, they used cutting-edge imaging technology and spectrometry to examine the extracellular matrix of mice every four hours for two days. Surprising, they discovered, that in mice that lacked the genes to encode the body’s clock, “abnormal collagen fibrils and collagen accumulation” occurred. Thin and thick fibers amalgamated randomly and normal functioning was interrupted.
(The extracellular matrix is a complex mesh that provides structure to our cells and comprises connective tissues that include tendons, skin, bones and cartilage and skin. Half of the body’s weight is made up of this extracellular matrix, and a Much of this is collagen. The matrix is a dynamic and physiologically active component of tissues that facilitates biochemical processes, such as cell division, growth and development.
The discovery of the thinnest fibrils is transcendental; It can deepen the understanding of the scientific community of how wounds heal and be part of the aging puzzle. It seems that the purpose of these sacrificial and renewable fibrils is to protect the permanent and underlying parts of the body’s matrix. Since all this happens when you are asleep, the argument to get your seven and eight hours may never have been stronger.
For more information, read our section on Skin proteins.
The health articles on Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and largest resource for verified medical information. In myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to provide information about everything related to health.
Update date: January 16, 2020 4:24:43 PM IST
Beauty of the dream,
Good skin tips,
Tips for active life,
Tips to stay active,
Why is sleep important?