Poor sleep can alter body chemistry
Think a few days of bad sleep just means you’ll need an extra shot of espresso in the morning? Think again. A British study published in the journal PNAS found that several days of poor sleep can significantly alter gene activity in the body.
While you’re sleeping, the body is busy reanimating itself after a long day and that involves a good deal of gene activity. The researchers found that a week during which a person slept fewer than six hours per night can alter the regenerative activity of about 700 genes and, as a result, dramatically changes body chemistry.
These changes can ultimately lead to heart disease, increased risk of obesity, damage to the immune system and altered brain function. Professor Colin Smith from the University of Surrey who worked on the study said, “Clearly sleep is critical to rebuilding the body and maintaining a functional state.”