Loss of sleep for one night can alter your genes and increase your risk of type-2 diabetes and obesity, research revealed.
Swedish researchers at Uppsala University and the Karolinska Institutet stated that genes that control the biological clocks in cells of the body are changed even after one night of sleep loss. Research conducted earlier has proved that loss of sleep causes adverse effects on metabolism, which in turn increases the risk of type-2 diabetes and obesity.
The research was conducted on 15 healthy normal-weight men. Molecular analyses of the collected tissue samples proved that the regulation and activity of clock genes was changed after loss of sleep for a night.
Genes activity is regulated by a mechanism called epigenetics, which involves chemical alterations to the DNA molecule such as methyl groups- a process known as methylation. It controls how the genes are switched on or off.
Researchers found that the clock genes had more number of such DNA marks after loss of sleep. Also, the expression of the genes, an indicative of how much of the genes’ product is made was changed.
The study is first of its kind to show that epigenetic changes occur after sleep loss in humans, but also in these tissues, stated Cedernaes.
This implies that at least some kind of sleep loss or prolonged wakefulness such as shift work could result in some changes in the genome of your tissues that can negatively affect your metabolism for longer time, authors stated.