16 Mar
Researchers Confirm: Sleep Is Good for You Researchers Confirm: Sleep Is Good for You

Researchers Confirm: Sleep Is Good for You

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Does it seem a waste of valuable time to spend a third of life sleeping? If humans are so much more advanced than other animals, why do we require such a sizable period of downtime every day? Haven't we, by now, come up with an efficient way to substitute for the benefits of sleep without actually having to spend all those hours in the Land of Nod?

Researchers at Bar-Ilan University in Israel recently published a study in the journal Nature Communications that indicates new and interesting ways in which sleep and sleep disturbances may impact aging, brain performance, and a variety of brain disorders.

By looking at 3D time-lapse images in live zebrafish, the researchers narrowed down sleep to a single chromosome view and also came up with the ground-breaking discovery that each individual neuron needs sleep in order to conduct "nuclear maintenance".

Turns out that sleep plays an important role in keeping DNA damage in each neuron -- which occurs in response to normal activity as well as oxidative stress and radiation exposure -- to a minimum, returning DNA levels to normal on a regular basis.

Professor Lior Appelbaum, of Bar-Ilan University's Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences and Gonda (Goldschmied) Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, who led the study, said in a press release, "It's like potholes in the road. Roads accumulate wear and tear, especially during daytime rush hours, and it is most convenient and efficient to fix them at night, when there is light traffic."

DNA damage, Applebaum suggests, is merely the price one pays for being awake, adding that sleep manages nuclear maintenance within neurons to satisfy a human's daily "bill" of damage.

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Read 39688 times Last modified on Friday, 08 March 2019 06:08
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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