A New Blood Test Can Reveal Your Internal Timing
written by/ August 19, 2021
A new study revealed that a single blood test can determine an individual’s internal sleep-wake cycle that repeats every 24 hours. Also known as the circadian clock, it offers crucial information that can be used for everything from improving sleep patterns to treating cancer.
The latest findings come from the University of Colorado Boulder. The study published in the Journal of Biological Rhythms recruited 16 healthy men and women who had to live in a sleep lab for two weeks. During that time, tests were conducted to determine fluctuations in their metabolites and melatonin levels and to identify metabolites related to circadian rhythms.
A machine-learning algorithm was then used to link the results from their bloodwork, defining the stage of circadian rhythm they were in.
One of the study’s senior authors, Christopher Depner, admits that the research is still in its early stages. Still, he hopes that additional data will further underscore the importance of circadian rhythms when it comes to treating illnesses.
It goes without saying that suffering from a circadian rhythm disorder is no fun. It can lead to severe sleep deprivation and practically ruin your social and professional life. Of course, minor sleep disturbances don’t necessarily translate into sleep disorders.
The researchers at CU Boulder and CU Anschutz found a way to determine which is what by testing specific by-products of our metabolism in our blood (melatonin, certain amino acids, and vitamins).
Sleep plays an essential role in our overall health, and as such, determining circadian rhythms can soon become a routine health assessment test.
In addition, this could be the information we need to determine why even the best natural and OTC sleep aids have different results with different people.
It’s worth noting that prior to this revolutionary study, patients were forced to spend 24 hours in a lab to get the same results.