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The reason why insomnia damages your health

Insomnia is linked to a whole host of additional health complications: diabetes, heart disease, obesity and even cognitive impairment (and that's just for starters).

Now a study has come up with a potential reason why.

Researchers measured the blood of volunteers after they'd enjoyed up to ten hours of sleep each night for a week. They measured the blood again when volunteers had slept for fewer than six hours each night for a week and then compared the results.

They found that over 700 different genes were affected by the lack of sleep.

The affected genes included those responsible for building proteins, controlling the natural body clock, maintaining a healthy immune system and for reacting to damage and stress.

This is a potentially ground-breaking discovery. Furthermore, the volunteers in this study were probably not as sleep deprived as many chronic insomniacs (and certainly for not as long) - so hopefully we'll see additional research in this field undertaken as a matter of urgency.

Source: PNAS

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Last updated: February 26, 2013

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

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