London: In a discovery that could help tackle sleep disorders, scientists found that our internal body clocks are shaped by the weather as well as by the seasons and environmental signals.A research led by a team from Edinburgh University found the mechanism had to be so complicated because it was able to deal with varying amounts of light from hour to hour, as well as changing seasons.
"The findings gave us a greater understanding of what drives the internal rhythms of people, animals and plants," they said, adding the research could help tackle sleep problems caused by jet lag and shift working.
Environmental signals, such as hours of daylight, affect the daily rhythms which many plants use to control flowering and ripening, it said.
The findings may also help scientists develop crops that can cope with climate change, a BBC report said.
Dr Carl Troein, of the University of Edinburgh`s School of Biological Sciences, said: "By better understanding why biological clocks are so complex, we stand a better chance of controlling them.”
"Our study goes some way to explaining how and why these in-built rhythms have developed. We hope it will be useful in informing treatments for sleep disorders as well as helping scientists develop crops that can survive in the long term."
First Published: Saturday, October 24, 2009, 12:56