A widespread lifestyle mistake can put your liver and heart cells at risk. But a study at the Medical College of Wisconsin shows how you can start protecting your organs from irreparable harm.
The problem that endangers your health is overwork and burning the midnight oil. The research in Wisconsin has identified specific cellular damage and injury to cellular genetic material associated with insufficient sleep and pushing yourself too hard to get work done.
Previous studies have shown that when you miss out on sleep, you can develop measurable amounts or proteins in your blood that are linked to brain damage and may lead to Alzheimer’s. In addition, lack of sleep can double your chances of hospitalization for heart failure, increase your risk for diabetes and wreak havoc with your heart rhythm.
The lab research in Wisconsin shows that cells in organs like the heart, liver, lung and small intestines may suffer DNA alterations when you skimp on sleep. They don’t recover until you make up the sleep deprivation.
“The study culminates years of work and provides physical evidence that sleep deprivation injures cells and that sleep recovery restores the balance between, among other parameters, DNA damage and repair,” says researcher. Carol Everson. “This is important because specific physical underpinnings that pose disease risk from sleep deficiency have been elusive and are now becoming identified.”