Many previous studies suggest that a good night’s sleep can rejuvenate the mind and body.
Now in a new study by Judith Carroll, from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA; California, USA), and colleagues reveals how partial sleep deprivation affects DNA and aging.
The researchers studied 29 men and women, ages 61 to 86 years, living independently in the community setting. Subjects underwent an experimental partial sleep deprivation protocol for four nights, including adaptation, an uninterrupted night of sleep, partial sleep deprivation (restricted 3 a.m. – 7 a.m.) and another uninterrupted night of sleep (recovery).
The researchers obtained blood samples each morning to assess peripheral blood mononuclear cells (pMBCs).
Results show that one night of partial sleep deprivation activates gene (PBMCs) consistent with increasing accumulation of damage that initiates cell cycle arrest and increases susceptibility to senescence.
The study authors write that: “These findings causally linked sleep deprivation to the etiology of biological aging, and further supports the hypothesis that sleep deprivation may be associated with elevated disease risk because it promotes molecular processes involved in biological aging.”