Body Temperature, Sleep, and the Circadian Rhythm

A study was recently led  by Dr. Christine Blume from the University of Salzburg in Austria that showed that there is a direct correlation between a person’s biological clock and body temperature in patients with brain injury. The study was taken on 18 patients, some of which were in a complete vegetative state and some who were somewhat responsive. Their biological clocks played a major role in the way that their bodies responded to their injuries. Body temperature was also calculated, sometimes even manipulated with bright light stimulation. The intent of the bright light stimulation was to determine whether or not doctors who are treating brain injury patients in the future should be raising or lowering a patients body temperature in order to speed up or slow down their biological clocks, which in turn will either assist or stop the recovery process. In the end, there was a small issue with the study and data findings, lack or MRI data prevented the study from being as efficient as possible and because that is a major role in the process of recovery, Dr. Blume still would like to look at other parts of the brain, such as the hypothalamus and their relation to the recovery process in brain injury patients.

Key Points:

  • 1Your biological clock or circadian rhythm is the cycle that tells your body when to eat, sleep and wake up.
  • 2Healthy people have body temperature variations the correlate with their sleep-wake cycle. A 24 hour rhythm is normal for a healthy person.
  • 3This is the first time an association between body temperature, circadian rhythm and arousal in brain injuries has been documented.

brain injury patients have fluctuating body temperatures that are directly related to their level of consciousness

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