A new study has found that psilocybin causes temporary changes to the basic structural organization of normal sleep in lab mice. Professor Vladyslav V. Vyazovskiy of the University of Oxford, who conducted the study, stated that evidence had shown that psychedelics such as psilocybin could rapidly reduce core symptoms of various psychiatric conditions, even in serious cases that were resistant to other treatments.
The researchers’ objective was to examine the potential impact that psilocybin had on sleep, as sleep disturbance contributed to the continuation as well as the onset of diverse mental illnesses. For their study, the researchers used animal models to better understand the mechanisms that underlie the effects which psilocybin has on sleep. They implanted electrodes in mice before administering psilocin, which is a psilocybin metabolite, and monitoring their patterns of sleep.
The researchers found that the mice struggled to go back to sleep after they were injected with psilocin, explaining that the animals spent a considerable amount of time in their nests trying to sleep but failed to do so. They also discovered that psilocin delayed Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep onset and decreased the maintenance of nonrapid eye movement (NREM) sleep for about three hours after the psychedelic’s administration.
These findings align with results from a prior study done on humans that discovered that psilocybin delayed REM sleep onset on the first night it was administered. REM sleep is the stage in which most dreaming takes place when one is asleep.
In an interview, Vyazovskiy stated that there wasn’t much known about the possible interaction between the regulation of sleep and the effects of psychedelic compounds despite their shared mechanisms in underlying biology. He explained that sleep was an important part of physiology that needed to be paid attention to when thinking about health, especially in the brain.
This research provides more clues about how psychedelics impact sleep activity. However, more studies are required to learn whether similar effects occur in people, especially those suffering from various mental conditions, as the study used “normal” animals. Vyazovskiy added that more research on whether there was a bidirectional relationship between the effects of psychedelics and sleep was needed, noting that the circadian effects on the response to psychedelics also needed to be studied in the future.
The study was authored by David M. Bannerman, Trevor Sharp, Guy M. Goodwin, Benjamin J. Bréant, Cristina Blanco-Duque, Christopher W. Thomas and Vladyslav V. Vyazovskiy. Its findings were published in “Translational Psychiatry.”
There is a lot more that the world has yet to learn about various psychedelic compounds, and that is why the R&D activities and programs of sector players such as Delic Holdings Corp. (CSE: DELC) (OTCQB: DELCF) need all the support they can get.
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