Every successful athlete will tell you that sleep is an absolutely essential component of training. Numerous studies have now linked sleep deprivation to weight gain, increased stress levels and overall decrease in health. A recent study from the Uppsala University in Sweden, has demonstrated that even one night of lost sleep can result in alterations to the genes that determine one’s biological clock.
In case you don’t quite understand what your “biological clock” is, it’s your body’s system that controls its major functions– your sleep cycle being a major one of those.
The study involved a small sample size. They analyzed 15 men of good health and weight who came to the lab for two visits, each for two nights. In one of the sessions, the men were allowed to sleep the second night at the lab and during the other one, they were not.
Following both stays, the one in which they slept for two nights and the one in which they were only allowed to sleep for one, the men had samples taken from abdominal fat, as well as from muscle on the thigh and blood.
The results showed that genes were altered by just the one night of sleep deprivation. “This could mean that at least some types of sleep loss or extended wakefulness, as in shift work, could lead to changes in the genome of your tissues that can affect your metabolism for longer periods,” Dr. Jonathan Cedernaes, the lead study author stated.