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Lack of sleep doesn’t affect females’ sex drive

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — A new study has found that after a sleepless night, males may prefer to sleep while sleep deprivation has no affect on mating behaviour of females.

Busting the myth, the findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, indicated that sleep-deprived males showed little interest in courtship while a lack of sleep had no effect on the mating behaviour of females.

“An organism can only do one thing at a time,” said corresponding author Michael Nitabach from Yale University in New Haven, US. “What we have discovered is a neuronal connection that regulates the interplay between courtship and sleep,” Nitabach added.

The study that was conducted on Drosophila by Nitabach in collaboration with scientists from Janelia Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Southeast University in China, and University of San Diego.

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The male flies’ behavior is easily explained as an adaptive behavior, say the scientists. “Sexually aroused males got little sleep, while aroused females slept more. Falling asleep during sex is not a good way to pass on your genes. It could be that females cannot afford to pass up an eligible suitor no matter how tired they are,” Nitabach stated.

They investigated neuronal activity involved in both behaviors. In addition to identifying this sex-specific behavior, the collaborative team also revealed that underlying functional connections between the distinct neural centers that mediate sex and sleep.

“It appears that whichever behavior has the highest biological drive suppresses the other behaviour,” he said.

The researchers noted that humans could possibly have a similar mechanism for adjudicating when the drives for sleep and sex collide.

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Life Style

Now, age 10-24 is the new adolescence period: Lancet study

IANS Indo Asian News Service

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Gradual changes in biological growth and social role transitions — coupled with delayed marriage and parenthood — have pushed back the period of adolescence between ages 10-24 rather than the previously known 10-19 years, according to a study,conducted by Lancet.

The study, published in the journal Lancet Child & Adolescent Health Friday, revealed that an early puberty has accelerated the onset of adolescence in nearly all populations, while understanding of continued growth has lifted its endpoint age well into the 20s.

The past century has seen drastic changes in the definition of adolescence, which encompasses elements of biological growth and major social role transitions.

“Rather than age 10-19 years, a definition of 10-24 years corresponds more closely to adolescent growth and popular understandings of this life phase and would facilitate extended investments across a broader range of settings,” said study lead author Susan M Sawyer from the Centre for Adolescent Health at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.

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As a result of lifestyle changes, genetics and environmental factors, early puberty for girls at age 8-10 is the new ‘normal’.

While menstruation is a natural process, an early puberty results in various health issues, like depression and behavioural issues as well as the risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

Similarly, young adults continuing their education for longer period, delayed marriage and parenthood, has pushed back popular perceptions of when adulthood begins.

“The transition period from childhood to adulthood now occupies a greater portion of the life course than ever before at a time when unprecedented social forces, including marketing and digital media, are affecting health and well-being across these years,” Sawyer noted.

An expanded and more inclusive definition of adolescence is essential for developmentally appropriate framing of laws, social policies and service systems, the researchers added.

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