Chronobiological studies to detect sleep disturbances
Complete studies of circadian rhythms (chronobiological), their pathologies and their consequences on sleep disturbances; cognitive development and affective disorders due to alterations of circadian rhythms are performed.
Sleep is a consciousness dynamic state in which we can have as active brain activity as in the wakefulness and in which major changes to the functioning of the organism occur. The rhythm sleep-wake is a circadian rhythm that responds mainly to light and darkness. A good exposure to natural or artificial light during the day can keep a good wakefulness and influence the mood. An inadequate exposition to the light is related, among others, to the sleep-wakefulness rhythm and has negative health consequences; many of them are due to the loss or alteration of the melatonin rhythm (the hormone of the dark). Melatonin synthesis alterations can lead to sleep disorders, cardiovascular diseases or certain types of cancer (prostate, breast...), among other effects.
The study sleep-wakefulness rhythm is very important to solve problems such as sleep disorders and avoid daytime or mood disorders in neurodegenerative diseases. These studies are aimed to the entire population, especially elderly healthy or with neurodegenerative disorders and children and adolescents with sleep disorders.
The SARquavitae group, currently DomusVi, is the largest healthcare and services network for the elderly, which manages about 153 residences throughout Spain. A research group from the UIB, specialized in the study of sleep and biological rhythms, has collaborated with the DomusVi group for four years. During this time, they have carried out studies with the aim of analyzing sleep-wake rhythm, detecting sleep disorders and applying light therapy when necessary.
Recently they have signed a new agreement to carry out a chronobiological study for elderly people when they enter for the first time in one of the three residences of the group (Can Carbonell, Palma and Costa d'en Blanes). The duration of the study will be one year, and will allow to check the effects of the exhibition in the light of residences in the elderly.
The research group has the necessary infrastructure in the UIB laboratory, the instrumentation that makes it possible to record and analyse the data as well as the necessary computer equipment and signal analysis. Also, it has a light therapy laboratory in Can Carbonell residence, with a light table and sensors to register the variables.