The center has eight research beds that resemble a hotel of sorts. Two beds, called Temporal Isolation Labs, may be a one-of-a-kind in the world. The rooms completely close off the subject from the time of day in order to test their innate circadian rhythms, which are patterns of rest and activity in the body and the mind.
Now that the laboratory has opened, on the second floor of the Rachel Upjohn Building on UM's East Medical Campus, director Roseanne Armitage, Ph.D., foresees that her team and colleagues will be able to discover a wealth of new knowledge about how the mind, body and brain interact to produce sleep irregularities and off-kilter circadian rhythms.
"Already, we know that people with depression, seasonal affective disorders, anxiety disorders, alcoholism, and many more conditions suffer terrible disruptions to their sleep patterns, and that in turn, a lack of good-quality sleep worsens their conditions," said Armitage, a professor of psychiatry at the UM Medical School. "But there are so many unanswered questions about why this happens, how early in life it begins, and how it might be treated or prevented. This lab will help us do just that."
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