A research by UC Berkeley has shown that in fact having enough non-sedated deep sleep might lead you into centenarian age. While, on the other hand, sleep deprivation may take a toll on your body at the molecular level and shorten your life-span. Here are explanations that might shed light on mechanisms behind;
Lack of Deep Sleep Affects Cognitive Performance
For starters, frequent inadequate sleep has a long-term consequences on our thinking and learning. Sleep deprivation leads to the waking state instability which results in many car accidents caused by a limited awareness of our senses and the surrounding. This is due to the reduction of alertness and attention stemming from a series of slow neural responses.
Some cognitive functions are more affected than others. Our innovative and creative thinking seems to receive more blows than our decision making and planning. It is harder to come up with new ideas when lacking proper rest. Other cognitive abilities that stand damage from sleep disruption are our memory assignments, reaction time, visio-motor and reasoning skills.
Quality sleep pattern promotes Cardiovascular health
Aging people who enjoy copious amounts of quality sleep have been known to reach centenarian ages. Their bodies have the perfect chance to break down nutrients and boost immunity during sleep. Studies based on self-report questionnaires administered to individuals who have reached very old ages indicated that they suffer from less age-related ailments. This population stressed the importance of healthy sleeping habits to be contributing factors to their long life. Deep sleep correlates with higher HDL-Cholesterol (good cholesterol) levels and lowers triglyceride levels which are all important in minimizing cardiovascular events and maintaining a healthy body. In a comparative study undertaken to characterize biochemical profiles and sleep patterns of the oldest individuals, there was a correlation between sleep-wake schedules and lipid metabolism regulation. This synergy is thought to be paramount in the maintenance of longevity in humans.
Deep Sleep Improves Protein Metabolism and DNA Repair
Deep sleep enrichment enhances organ-specific molecular functions. It also plays the primary role in minimizing cellular metabolic stress in the brain and metabolic tissues. Our bodies are working to recharge and repair as we sleep. The brain optimizes the body’s functions during sleep by repairing DNA, increasing the protein metabolism rates to build more tissue and improving stress response. When you miss out on adequate amounts of sleep, you are not letting your body do its work by plugging in to recharge.
Many of us have assumed that sleep is primarily important for the brain function. This could not be further from the truth. Using DNA micro-arrays as evaluation of the molecular consequences of adequate sleep -or lack of it, scientists presented surprising findings. Sleep-wake cycle directly affects genome expression in peripheral tissue. The study also point that quality sleep enhances sulfur and carbohydrate processes, indicating protection from oxidative stress. Furthermore, gene activities responsible for DNA repair and protein metabolism amplifies significantly. Finally, DNA screening shows that sleep deprivation weakens the immune system significantly.
These points clearly demonstrate that sleep-wake behavioral patterns extend far beyond the brain. Having adequate sleep would enhance specific molecular functions and reduce cellular metabolic stress. This synchronizing transcription of sleep in peripheral tissues, leads to increased longevity.
Sleep Deprivation Correlates to Increased Inflammation
People with a regular and sufficient sleeping routine are less susceptible to inflammation. During sleep, our bodies produce hormones and anti-inflammatory cytokines that regulate energy metabolism, appetite and glucose processing. Sleep deprivation upsets this balance making the body more prone to inflammation resulting from the aforementioned medical conditions.
Additionally, forming a pattern of regular insufficient sleep leaves our bodies too tired to take up any form of exercise the next day. This means you will not be able to burn off the extra calories and make more muscle which will make you susceptible to “lifestyle” diseases.
Lack of Sleep Imparts Autophagy
Autophagy is the cellular process by which body degrades faulty organelles, dysfunctional and damaging proteins, and other cellular elements. These elements reprocess to be used either as an energy source or building blocks for new cells. Think of autophagy as Your adaptive, self-recycling mechanism, serving as the protection against various pathologies. Disruption of autophagy mechanisms were identified in different human diseases such as neuro-degenerative diseases, infectious diseases, and various cancers. Quality of sleep largely affects rhythm of authophagy. Hence, lack of quality sleep or sleep pattern negatively interferes with body’s autophagy. Chronic diseases related to impaired autophagy mechanism can be a direct consequence of sleep deprivation.
In hope to ward off physical and mental ailments that would reduce your longevity, then you should have between 7-9 hours for of good quality sleep. This is at least according to newest recommendation by National Sleep Foundation. Having a rich and regular sleep patterns might ultimately decrease morbidity and mortality – and increase longevity to a large extent.
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