Sleep Deprivation Interferes with Gene Activity

A latest genetic breakthrough has hinted why lack of sleep can have a devastating impact on health.

Himanshu Sharma
LatestWritten by: Himanshu SharmaPublished at: Feb 27, 2013
Sleep Deprivation Interferes with Gene Activity

Sleep Deprivation Interferes with Gene ActivityA study at the University of Surrey has linked lack of sleep with genetic activity. The discovery suggests how sleep deprivation can have a devastating impact on health, especially stress, immunity and inflammation.

The research panel from the university examined gene activity in 26 sleep-deprived volunteers. The subjects were exposed to a week of poor sleep. During this period, they slept no more than six hours a night and were awake for around 40 hours.


[Read: How Lack of Sleep Disrupts Emotional Controls]

It was found that lack of sleep had an effect on over 700 genes, some genes were found to become less active while some were dampened. These were the genes associated with the body clock cycle, metabolism, immune system and stress responses. Moreover, sleep deprivation also altered chromatin, the DNA and protein packaging, which has an important part in gene regulation.


[Read: Treatments of Sleep Disorders]

This is a wake-up call for India’s insomniac community — those who have trouble either falling asleep, staying asleep or both. At present, nearly 10% of adults in the country fall under this category.



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