Scientists have made a breakthrough in answering the age-old question: Why do we need sleep? According to a study in the US, sleeping activates a gene which allows certain types of brain cell to be replenished.
In the study, researchers measured the activity of genes related to “oligodendrocytes”, which make myelin both as part of healthy regeneration and in response to injuries.
They found that the genes in mice that promoted myelin production were turned on during sleep. By contrast, other genes that are involved in cell death and stress response were found to be on in mice who were forced to stay awake.
Read the full, original story here: Beauty sleep or brains sleep? Switching off ‘helps regrow brain cells’
- “A Sleep Gene Has A Surprising Role In Migraines,” NPR
- “Scientists find a gene that may influence short sleep times,” Los Angeles Times
- “Lack of Sleep Messes With Your Genes,” Discovery