Drosophila melanogaster (Meigen) (Diptera: Drosophilidae) exhibits several welldefined sleep parameters and a sleep:wake rhythm strength cycle that fragments and deteriorates with age. Because many aspects of functional senescence may be linked to the effects of accumulated oxidative damage, and as several lines of experimental evidence indicate that sleep parameters and sleep:wake rhythm strength may be modulated by oxidative stress in D. melanogaster, it has been postulated that sleep fragmentation is driven, at least in part, by accumulated oxidative damage in this fly. We investigated the contrasting effects of an enriched dietary regime that is likely to exacerbate processes associated with aging and oxidative damage accumulation, and a dietary restriction regime that has been demonstrated to delay the detectable effects of aging-related damage on lifelong sleep and activity patterns in male and female D. melanogaster. We found that female flies on a nutrient-rich dietary regime exhibited stronger sleep:wake cycles than females on a dietary restriction regime and that dietary restriction did not seem to alter the initiation of sleep fragmentation in female or male D. melanogaster.
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