Lack of Sleep can Negatively Affect your DNA and General Well-Being

in Blog

With our ever-current busy lives, sleep could easily be seen as waste of time. Research shows that human beings spend one-third of their entire life doing one thing, you guessed right- sleeping!

To meet up with demands, climb up the career ladder, or create winning strategies to sell that following product, you may stay up late to sacrifice sleep on the altars of career advancement.

While this may sound right to you, there’s always a price to pay when you try to cheat mother nature, which Is a disastrous effect on your general health and wellness. 

Sleep may sound casual and irrelevant. But it is a crucial time your body needs to repair many areas for optimal functioning. These processes include muscle repair, hormone regulation, memory formation, and realignment on a cellular level; your DNA is worked on when you sleep.

Lack of sleep can disrupt Your DNA processes. The DNA being the bedrock of your body system will be affected, reflecting on the body’s other systems. Looking at how a lack of sleep can negatively affect the DNA is essential if you want to live longer and healthier.

How does Less Sleep Disrupt your DNA?

Because your DNA works regularly, an abnormal change in your body system will affect it- whether positive or negative. 

Initially, people thought a lack of sleep could lead to body weakness the following day. Feeling grumpy, weak, and not performing at your optimal best. Studies have shown it goes deeper than that. It showed that a regular lack of sleep affects the DNA, destroying its working system and manipulating the genes. This is a crucial part of the lack of healthy aging. 

Currently, the mode at which sleep deprivation could affect your DNA is unknown, as there are several ways this can occur. Some of them include manipulating and changing the expression of specific genes responsible for healthy aging and DNA repair. 

Damaged Strand of DNA

When it comes to DNA repair, it becomes more complex. The study showed that doctors who worked regular night shifts had 30% higher DNA gene repair levels than their regular day shift counterparts. This meant they had a 30% lesser chance of having their DNA repaired when a break occurred. Continuous lack of sleep increased the difference by 20%.

It gets worse. Further research has stated that you don’t need to lose sleep for long to experience DNA damage. 

Sleep Deprivation Targets Genes for DNA Repair

A lack of sleep targets specific genes in your DNA makeup, including OGG1, XRCC1, and ERCC1 genes. They are all involved in the excision repair of base DNA, recombinational repair, and nucleotide excision repair. All processes are heavily involved in repairing a DNA break. 

Because your DNA is responsible for how your body reacts to certain conditions, a lack of repair affects health and wellness. 

Reduced levels of the genes listed lead to accumulation of broken DNA fragments in the bloodstream, increased rate of mutation, leading to several life-threatening health conditions. 

How many hours do you need to Sleep?

Stop Watch in Sand

No doubt, you should feel a specific type of relief when you sleep well. But if you’re wondering how long you need to lay down and let your body repair itself, then you’re in luck. 

Depending on your age, there is a range of hours recommended to lie and close your eyes. Especially for adults, this has become crucial, and it is recommended you take it seriously. 

  • Newborn (0-3 months): 14-17 hours
  • Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
  • Preschool (3-5 years): 10-13 hours
  • School-age (6-13 years): 10-13 hours
  • Teenagers (14-17 years): 8-10 hours
  • Young adults (18-25 years): 8-10 hours
  • adults (26-64 years): 7-9 hours
  • Elderly (65- above): 7-8 hours

While this is the recommended number of hours, it is understandable that certain environmental and behavioral factors could influence this. However, it is recommended that you get a minimum of seven hours of night sleep. 

What to Do to Get More Sleep

Every health practitioner believes that preventive medicine is the best form of treatment for all ailments. It does everyone a ton of good; you and the doctor if the illness is prevented before it becomes a giant monster. For healthy aging, you should improve on getting quality sleep.

These tips could help you get better sleep

Practice the Art of a Predetermined Wake-Up Time

You must choose and stick to a predetermined time to wake up. This should extend to weekends and not just weekdays. When your body becomes used to waking up at a particular time every day, it will tailor itself to seek more sleep to meet up with its task.

This particular sleep drive is healthy for your mind and your body. While at it, you can get some mild activity to help you transition to sleep mode. Reading a book and taking a warm bath have been proven to train the body to sleep effectively.

Tailor your Body to Require Sleep as a Medicine

If you decide to prioritize sleep, your body will follow suit. No matter how busy your schedule, you should determine that your body needs rest at night. 

Do away with your Gadgets

Man Playing Computer Game

A distracting piece that could disrupt your sleep is your devices. Using a device during bedtime can disrupt your sleep cycle. The light rays emitting from the phone have been proven to cause a disruption of a relaxed mind, one factor essential for a good night’s rest. 

If you need a good night’s rest, keep your gadgets far away. 

In conclusion

The way of nature has been tailored to give general health and wellness, as long as we treat the body right. Sleep deprivation has been implicated in several health challenges, including cancer, mental instability, etc. No matter the amount of work to be done, you need to respect your body and ensure that you give it the treatment it deserves.

Sleep is one of the primary yet essential needs of the body, and starving it will lead to serious health consequences.