Science

Sleep deprived people have cracked DNA

If you compare the human body to a rechargeable battery, then waking and sleeping is the process of discharging and charging. A tired body late at night can be "rejuvenated" by a good night's sleep, while a lack of sleep will make people feel depleted and their bodies emptied.

This set of power-consuming charging processes can also be reflected in the DNA of our brain neurons. Studies have found that DNA in human neurons is constantly broken and damaged, and good sleep can help the DNA repair better.

Sleep deprived people have cracked DNA

From wakefulness to sleep

It is the process of neuronal DNA damage to repair

The human brain consumes a lot of energy to function while awake, and the CNS network is an extremely metabolically demanding system, with adult CNS oxygen consumption accounting for about 20% of total basal oxygen consumption.

The brain has a highly developed mitochondrial network, and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation provides most of the energy for the brain to function, and the high metabolic load causes the brain environment to produce high levels of reactive oxygen and reactive nitrogen species. These factors cause the brain to sustain oxidative damage, such as DNA double strand breaks (DSB), which are particularly pronounced during wakefulness or heavy brain use.

Sleep deprived people have cracked DNA

In addition to wakefulness and brain use, UV light, smoking, etc. can cause DNA breaks to varying degrees

Unlike the apoptosis and replacement of most cells in the body, the neuronal DNA in the brain can only be restored to normal function through constant repair.

The human brain is overly rich in neuronal activity during waking hours, and there is so much broken DNA that repair efforts can't catch up with DNA damage by a long shot. Like road repair, the best time to fix potholes is not during the day when there are no cars, but late at night when there are no cars, so the DNA repair work is usually done during sleep.

Sleep deprived people have cracked DNA

The study found that sleep reduces the metabolic demands on the brain and plays a key role in repairing DNA damage caused during wakefulness. Not only that, but sleep can also help remove metabolic waste products that accumulate in the brain, such as misfolded proteins and protein hydrolysis byproducts.

A 2019 Hong Kong study of 49 doctors on night duty showed that doctors on overnight duty had reduced expression of DNA repair genes in their blood and an increased number of DNA breaks after acute sleep deprivation compared to those who did not work overnight.

Sleep deprived people have cracked DNA

Sleep deprivation induces sustained oxidative stress, leading to increased breakage damage or decreased repair of DNA.

In other words, the price of being awake during the day is that the brain is still working silently during late night sleep to repair the damage caused during daytime activity. This may also be why sleep exposes our most vulnerable side to the environment, but we still can't live without it.

Sleep deprived people have cracked DNA

Sleep deprivation causes

The dangers of unrepaired DNA

DNA double-strand breaks are an all-too-normal process in maintaining normal organismal activity, such as the accumulation of neuronal DNA damage as a homeostatic driver for sleep.

Researchers have found that when DNA breakage damage reaches a certain level, the Parp1 pathway in the brain senses the stress of cellular damage and sends out a "run out of power, time to sleep" signal, urging us to go to sleep quickly and assisting in DNA repair and reorganization.

Sleep deprived people have cracked DNA

Thanks to cell disruption and the Parp1 pathway, we can get a good night's sleep

Fracture damage, although normal, is likely to have a negative impact on the body if it is not repaired in a timely manner.

DNA double-strand breaks are considered one of the most cytotoxic types of DNA damage, potentially increasing the chance of cancer gene mutations, neurological disorders, and potentially accelerating aging. Studies have found that sleep deprivation is a driver of cellular stress and damage in neurological disorders.

Of course, this is one of the negative effects of sleep deprivation. Research on the possible health risks of sleep deprivation is now well established, and insufficient daily sleep time can lead to

Daytime sleepiness, irritability, decreased or absent concentration, decreased alertness, distraction, lack of motivation, fatigue, discomfort, low energy, irritability,

It even grows fat.

Sleep deprived people have cracked DNA

How to get a good night's sleep Tips

Adequate sleep is necessary to maintain optimal physical health, immune function, mental health and cognitive function.

The consensus of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society states that for optimal sleep, adults aged 18-60 years routinely need ≥7 hours of sleep per night. Infants, children and adolescents need more sleep than adults.

Getting enough sleep is important, but for most people, getting a good night's sleep is a difficult task, whether they are forced to lose sleep or actively stay up late.

How to get a good night's sleep, Science Park has summarized some tips for you.

  • Fixing a regular bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends, and maintaining a regular circadian rhythm every day can make it easier to go to sleep and get up

  • Moderate exercise can improve sleep quality

  • Establish a sleep ritual, such as turning down the lights two hours early

  • Set yourself up with a comfortable bed and pillow

  • For people who are light sleepers and wake up easily in the middle of the night, try using blackout curtains, ear plugs, eye masks, etc. to create the best sleeping environment

  • Don't drink coffee, smoke or eat too much in the evening. Drinking alcohol may reduce the quality of sleep, do not use alcohol to help you sleep

  • If you can't sleep, don't look at the time again and again. Go to another room and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy enough, then go back to bed.

  • Some soothing activities before bedtime can promote sleep, such as reading in soft light and putting your phone away 30 minutes before bedtime.

  • If you have trouble falling asleep at night, don't take a nap during the day. If you are really sleepy during the day, you can take a short nap within 20 minutes.

May everyone get a good night's sleep and have their wounded DNA properly repaired in the late hours of each sleepy night.

End

Note: The cover image and the illustrations in the text are from the Internet

Reference.

[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30675716/

[2] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982219305512

[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34798058/

[4] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1087079222000296


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