The following is an edited excerpt.
Lack of sleep has been blamed for everything from poor driving to memory problems. Now, researchers think they’ve started to pinpoint why: week-long sleep studies of people resting for 10 hours a night vs. six hours showed significant changes in gene activity.
When sleep was restricted to under six hours a night, researchers noted that 444 genes showed suppressed activity, and 267 genes showed more activity. Those genes control everything from the body’s immune system to its reaction to stress.
“The surprise for us was that a relatively modest difference in sleep duration leads to these kinds of changes,” says study author Professor Derk-Jan Dijk, director of the Surrey Sleep Research Centre at Surrey University.
Read the full article here: Lack of Sleep Messes With Your Genes