There’s a new reason to go to bed on time: late nights, in addition to a multitude of health effects, may lead to obesity and diabetes.
Countless studies have shown the negative effects of sleep loss and sleep deprivation, but a new one from a Swedish team suggests that even one night of missed snoozing can have long-lasting effects on your genes.
The study, which points to specific “clock” genes--components of the circadian rhythm found throughout the body that act like tiny clocks to synchronize our internal master clock--in muscle and adipose tissues, suggests that a missed night of sleep throws our metabolism for a loop, and can lead to increased risks of obesity and diabetes. “This is pretty exciting that all of this happened after one night of sleep loss,” says Cedernaes.
“We had this idea that we could induce these quick genetic changes because at the time there also came a study from one of the collaborators of this study that if you exercise at high enough levels, you can induce these genetic changes in your muscle,” says Jonathan Cedernaes, a neuroscientist at Uppsala University in Sweden and the lead author of the study. “So we wanted to see whether sleep loss, which is a different kind of stressor and a negative one, could also lead to these kinds of changes.”