Press Releases

DATE2023.03.24 #Press Releases

Uncovering the nature of sleepiness that comes after physical exertion

Disclaimer: machine translated by DeepL which may contain errors.

University of Tsukuba

Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo

Summary of Presentation

It is a phenomenon that everyone experiences that we become sleepy when we are tired after working a lot. However, the mechanism of how body fatigue causes sleep has not been well understood.

In this study, this research group has clarified that sleep is triggered by the accumulation of defective proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum, a structure within the cells of actively working tissues (endoplasmic reticulum stress), and has identified eIF2α as a molecule that promotes sleep at that time. This relationship between protein quality control at the cellular level and sleep at the individual level was also found to be common in mammalian mice, suggesting that it is possessed by a wide range of animals as a mechanism linking a tired body and sleep.

These research results are important findings for understanding fatigue and sleep, and are expected to be applied to new methods of controlling sleepiness and efficient recovery from fatigue. It is also known that an increase in endoplasmic reticulum stress and a decrease in eIF2α function occur in various diseases and aging, and the mechanism revealed in this study may lead to the elucidation of the relationship between disease, aging, and sleep.

The research results were published in Cell Reports on March 15.

Professor Yu Hayashi, Department of Biological Sciences (Visiting Professor at the International Institute for Integrative Medical Science of Sleep (WPI-IIIS), University of Tsukuba), is the Principal Investigator of this research.

For more information, please visit the website of the University of Tsukuba.