Sleep deprivation may lead to DNA damage: Study  |  Photo Credit: Thinkstock
Washington DC: Sleep deprivation does more harm to the human body than one can imagine. According to a recent study, sleep deprivation can affect our genes and lead to the damage of our DNA.
In the observational study on 49 healthy full-time doctors who had their blood analysed at different time points and on-call doctors who were required to work overnight on-site were found to have lower DNA repair gene expression and more DNA breaks than participants who did not work overnight.
In these overnight on-site call doctors, DNA repair gene expression decreased and DNA breaks increased after sleep deprivation. Damaged DNA increased after only one night of sleep deprivation.
According to the researchers, this damage may help explain the increased risk for cancer and cardiovascular, metabolic diseases as well as neurodegenerative disorders that are usually associated with sleep deprivation.
“Although this work is very preliminary, it is clear from the results that even a single night of sleep deprivation can trigger events that may contribute to the development of chronic disease,” said Siu-Wai Choi, lead researcher of the study.