Just ONE night of bad sleep can alter your genes

You might think losing the odd night's sleep is harmless. Most of us simply up our caffeine intake and power through the next day.

But a new study has found that pulling an all-nighter may have more serious implications for our bodies that previously thought.

Researchers in Sweden have discovered that missing a single night of sleep can alter the genes that control our body's cellular biological clocks.


Researchers in Sweden have discovered that missing a single night of sleep can alter the genes that control our body's cellular biological clocks.  Disrupted biological clocks can affect everything from changes in our body temperature, appetite and even brain activity

Disrupted biological clocks can affect everything from changes in our body temperature, appetite and even brain activity.

'Previous research has shown that our metabolism is negatively affected by sleep loss,' said Jonathan Cedernaes, lead author and a researcher at Uppsala University.

Sleep loss has also been linked to an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

'Since ablation of clock genes in animals can cause these disease states, our current results indicate that changes of our clock genes may be linked to such negative effects caused by sleep loss,' he said.

For the study the researchers studied 15 healthy normal-weight men who on two separate occasions came to the lab for almost 2-night long stays.


A close study of the collected tissue samples showed that the regulation and activity of clock genes was altered after one night of sleep loss

During the second night the participants slept as usual over eight hours in one of the two sessions, while they were kept awake in the other of these sessions, but in random order.

Light conditions, food intake and activity levels in the lab were strictly controlled and the participants were bed-restricted when they were kept awake.

Following the second night on both occasions that the men were studied, small tissue samples were taken from the superficial fat on the stomach, and from the muscle on the thigh.

These are two kinds of tissues that are important for regulating metabolism and controlling blood sugar levels. Continue reading

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