A Week of Bad Sleep Alters Your Genes
Study finds 'dramatic changes' taking place within days
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2013 3:29 AM CST
Updated Mar 2, 2013 12:54 PM CST
Six hours a night isn't enough, researchers say.   (?)

(Newser) – Sleeplessness starts to bring about dramatic changes in the body within just a few days, disrupting hundreds of genes, hindering the body's ability to repair itself, and raising the risk of illnesses linked to immunity and stress, according to new research. Researchers analyzed the blood of subjects after they had more than 10 hours sleep a night for a week and compared the results with tests taken after the subjects had less than six hours a night for a week, the BBC reports.

"There was quite a dramatic change in activity in many different kinds of genes," the lead researcher says. "Clearly sleep is critical to rebuilding the body and maintaining a functional state, all kinds of damage appears 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." Experts not involved with the study noted that if a way to turn off the gene changes associated with sleeplessness can be found, it could be possible to eliminate the effects of sleep deprivation—making sleep unnecessary.

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Showing 3 of 23 comments
CharlesP
Mar 8, 2013 12:32 PM CST
A person who does not sleep WOULD NEVER LEARN ANYTHING, long term. IT IS DURING REM SLEEP THAT memories are moved FROM SHORT TERM STORAGE TO LONG TERM STORAGE, within the brain!!!! Whatever "experts" made the claim of "no sleep" being necessary are WORTHLESS, and should be executed, FOR CRIMES OF FRAUD!
loyalamerican
Mar 6, 2013 3:11 PM CST
Stupid story. Lacking sleep will affect health but the implied "altering genes or DNA" is a laugher.
BCS
Mar 4, 2013 2:06 PM CST
" Experts not involved with the study noted that if a way to turn off the gene changes associated with sleeplessness can be found, it could be possible to eliminate the effects of sleep deprivation—making sleep unnecessary." That's one of the biggest loads of bullshit I've ever heard. Besides the fact that it's extremely far fetched to to be able to have the body be physically unaffected by no sleep, there's also the issue of mental health. It's Obviously 100% necessary for us to do a certain amount of dreaming in order to stay sane. We don't dream for entertainments sake. Sleep will always be a necessity. There are some really full of shit pseudo experts out there.