Do find it hard to catch up some shut-eye every night? Is the stress of work taking a toll on your sleep-wake cycle, or are your poor lifestyle habits making it awfully hard for you to sleep peacefully? Whatever is the reason, it is never too late to make amends. If the findings of a latest study are to be believed, then sleep deprivation could be more dangerous than what you previously thought. The data suggested that sleep deprivation can affect our genes and even lead to the damage of our DNA.
The observational study was conducted on 49 healthy full-time doctors who had their blood analysed at different time points and on-call doctors who were required to work overnight on-site were found to have lower DNA repair gene expression and more DNA breaks than participants who did not work overnight.
The study revealed that in these overnight on-site call doctors, DNA repair gene expression decreased and DNA breaks increased after sleep deprivation. The study noted that damaged DNA increased after only one night of sleep deprivation.
According to the researchers, this damage may prove helpful in understanding the increased risk for cancer and cardiovascular, metabolic diseases as well as neuro-degenerative disorders that are usually linked with sleep deprivation.
“Although this work is very preliminary, it is clear from the results that even a single night of sleep deprivation can trigger events that may contribute to the development of chronic disease,” said Siu-Wai Choi, lead researcher of the study.
Your dietary choices also play a role in your sleep cycle and pattern. Here are some sleep-inducing foods you can try:
1. Banana: Bananas are packed with tryptophan, an amino acid that plays a crucial role in keeping your mind relaxed. Bananas also have magnesium that relaxes your muscles and helps you sleep better.
2. Milk: Milk is replete with tryptophan, which has soothing effects on the brain, which may not only help you sleep well, but also keep you calm and stress-free.
3. Cherries: Cherries contain melatonin, a hormone that plays a crucial role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle of the body. Make sure you do not eat more than 10 in a day.
4. Brahmi: Several studies have also pointed how brahmi could prove effective in supporting sleep. It is also known to improve concentration and digestive problems.
5. Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is famously known to promote sound sleep, according to Ayurveda. It contains a compound called triethylene glycol, which may have sleep-inducing properties. Ashwagandha is also effective in managing anxiety and depression.