Daytime Injuries Actually Heal Faster Than Those Suffered At Night
This might come as a surprise and a truly specific thing, but daytime injuries seem to heal twice as fast as those suffered during the night. So, for your own good, try and get hurt during the day, if you can.
The people who discovered this are Nathaniel Hoyle of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, and his team of researchers who’ve been investigating how the time of day actually affects healing. And they discovered that some genes found in a type of skin cell switch on and off depending on the time of day. Known as fibroblasts, these cells help close up a wound after the skin has been cut or punctured. And the genes inside, that vary throughout the day, are responsible for this process.
After discovering this, the team decided to test out their theory by looking at data collected by a burn injuries specialist at the University of Manchester, UK. What they discovered was that, on average, injuries sustained during the day healed much faster – roughly 17 days – as compared to those inflicted at night – which took roughly 28 days to heal.
“We found that how well you heal depends on what time of the day you’re injured,” says Hoyle. “Healing in the day can occur 60-per-cent faster.”
When a would is created and the skin is cut, fibroblast cells swarm in and secrete a matrix that helps the skin cells move in place, grow and heal the injury in the process. In a somewhat similar study, it was revealed that this fibroblast arrives at the ‘scene’ twice as fast in a mouse’s wound during its waking period, as opposed to their sleep period. This seems to be because 30 genes are more active during waking hours – and these genes control actin – a protein used by fibroblasts to move around.
This information could prove useful in a wide variety of ways. Some drugs could “fool” injury sites into ‘thinking’ that it’s daytime – leading to a much faster healing process.
“This research adds to the accumulating evidence that ‘time of day’ or ‘circadian rhythmicity’ matters in medicine,” says Derk-Jan Dijk, of the University of Surrey, UK. “The question is how we can make use of this knowledge, and whether it can change clinical practice and help patients.”