The New Science of Sleep

A new study respecting sleep is making the rounds on the internet. In a study published in the journal PNAS, researchers have demonstrated how insufficient sleep damages health.

Researchers at the University of Surrey analysed the blood of 26 people, comparing samples taken after a week of plenty of sleep (up to 10 hours a night) with samples taken after a week of poor sleep (of fewer than six hours a night).

They found that a reduction in sleep negatively impacts gene expression in human blood cells. The affected genes, of which there are over 700, are include those governing the immune system, metabolism, and the body’s response to stress.

What the study does not say is whether the effects are reversible, or what the long-term negative health impacts may be.

Worried about the quality of sleep you’re getting? Try taking this sleep profiler from the BBC; it offers a quick and easy diagnosis, no doctor required.

Looking for ways to sleep better? Try out these tips.

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