Lack of sleep damages genes and leads to ill health

Lack of sleep damages genes and leads to ill health
Poor sleep patterns in humans negatively affect more than 700 genes, damaging the body’s biochemistry and causing ill health according to researchers from the University of Surrey.
 
Professor Colin Smith and his team compared the blood of people who regularly had 10 or more hours sleep with the blood of those having 6 or less. Genes might be more, or less active, and produce more or less proteins and messages.
 
Meanwhile the natural body clock was dulled by sleep deprivation.
 
Previous studies have shown how sleep deprivation (in long haul air hostesses, or night shift workers, for example), led to loss of melatonin production which in turn led to more breast cancer and prostate cancer. This effect is worsened by damage to the microbiome’s gut bacteria, because some of them have Circadian Rhythms and make melatonin too.. 
 
 
Melatonin is known to be the biggest antioxidant we animals make and it is very, very anti-inflammatory. Maybe taking a melatonin supplement and ensuring you have a healthy gut microbiome is actually the place to start, not soft pillows and warm baths.
 
But this UK study showed the effects were much greater than even the loss of melatonin. The key findings concerned increased response to damage, increased stress and inflammation, and a reduced immune response.
 
Smith told the BBC, "There was quite a dramatic change in activity in many different kinds of genes. Areas such as the immune system and how the body responds to damage and stress were affected. Clearly sleep is critical to rebuilding the body and maintaining a functional state, all kinds of damage appear to occur - hinting at what may lead to ill health. If we can’t actually replenish and replace new cells, then that’s going to lead to degenerative diseases."
 
2017 Research
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