You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Lack of sleep disrupts genes


Sleeping fewer than six hours for several nights in a row affects hundreds of genes responsible for keeping us in good health, says a new study.

Research led by the U.K.'s Surrey Sleep Research Centre found that people who were subjected to sleep deprivation for a week underwent changes at a molecular level that could affect their well-being.

Sleep disorders are common in industrialized countries, with about 10% to 20% of the U.S. and European population reporting they often don’t get a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep and disrupting the sleep-wake cycle are known to have a damaging effect on health, but the reasons behind this remain largely unexplored.

Laboratory Sleep Tests

The small study involved 14 healthy men and 12 healthy women who were allowed to sleep under laboratory conditions for 5.7 hours one week and 8.5 hours another week.

After each seven-day period, researchers collected and looked at blood samples that included RNA, or ribonucleic acid, from each person. The major type of RNA is called messenger RNA, and this plays a vital role in making proteins. These samples allowed the researchers to examine what happens to the RNA in the blood, brain, and liver.

Professor Derk-Jan Dijk and his colleagues found that volunteers who got less than six hours of sleep each night over the course of a week had changes to 711 RNA genes linked to inflammation, the ability to fight disease, and stress. These changes might have an impact on obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and brain function.

The findings appear in the journal PNAS.

Obesity and Diabetes

Professor Jim Horne from the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University says people shouldn’t be alarmed by the study results. 

"The potential perils of 'sleep debt' in today’s society and the need for 'eight hours of sleep a night’ are overplayed and can cause undue concern," Horne says. "Although this important study seems to support this concern, the participants had their sleep suddenly restricted to an unusually low level, which must have been somewhat stressful." 

"We must be careful not to generalize such findings to, say, habitual six-hour sleepers who are happy with their sleep,” he says.  “Besides, sleep can adapt to some change, and should also be judged on its quality, not simply on its total amount."

SOURCES: Dijk, D. PNAS, published online Feb. 25, 2013.Professor Adrian Williams, professor of sleep medicine, King’s College, London.Professor Jim Horne, Sleep Research Centre, Loughborough University, Loughborough, England.

© 2013 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Health

Coupon deals of week
Coupon deals of week

Coupon availability and coupon values may vary within different regions or neighborhoods. Blink RevitaLens This week at Rite-Aid, Blink RevitaLens, is one sale for $7.99. Use the $3 off one Blink RevitaLens coupon found in most of today’s SmartSource inserts. When you check out, you will also get 200 PlentiPoints, which is equivalent to $2 good...
In search of an indestructible dog toy
In search of an indestructible dog toy

If my family was ever in an accident and the “Jaws of Life” were required, we’re all set. Teddy, our sweet, tummy-rub-loving Lab could handle the job. His jaws seem to be made of steel. RELATED » Teddy finds his voice The pooch can shred most toys in a matter of minutes. It doesn’t matter if the toy is soft and squishy...
This ‘Hunger Games’ exhibit is SO worth the drive
This ‘Hunger Games’ exhibit is SO worth the drive

If you were looking for an excuse for a mini-getaway that’s less than 3 hours away, your moment has come. “Hunger Games: The Exhibition” is on display now at The Frazier History Museum in Louisville, Kentucky through September 10, 2017. Louisville is about 2.5 hours from Dayton’s center, so it can easily be a day or weekend...
Plant a tree in honor of Arbor Day
Plant a tree in honor of Arbor Day

Given that yesterday was Arbor Day, why not plant a tree this weekend? Garden centers are stock-full of great selections for your landscape and have lots of people on hand to help you pick out the perfect tree. If you decide to plant a tree, make sure you plant it properly for longevity. One of the biggest mistakes that I see is that people plant trees...
Humane society, Dayton firefighters rescue cat stuck in pipe
Humane society, Dayton firefighters rescue cat stuck in pipe

It took hours and special equipment for rescuers to free a cat today with its head stuck in a pipe embedded in a cement block in Dayton. The Humane Society of Greater Dayton responded to a report the cat had been stuck for hours. When they arrived, the cat had worn down its nails clenching at the ground trying to escape. The pipe was too thick to easily...
More Stories