When sleep was restricted to six hours per day, the researchers noted that 444 genes become less active. These genes control everything from the body's immune system to reactions to stressful situations.
"The surprise for us was that the relatively modest difference in the duration of sleep leads to this kind of change," says study author Professor Derk-Jan Dijk, director of the Research Centre at the University of Surrey Sleep, in an interview «The Guardian». "This is a sign that sleep disturbances or short sleep affects a person more than you could imagine».
The study team, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. After analyzing the sleep among 26 healthy men and women who spent two weeks in the laboratory, where they were allowed to sleep up to 10 hours in the first week, and six - the other. If the count is actually an average of the subjects slept 8, 5:00 during the "long sleep" and only 5 hours, 42 minutes during the "short nights».
Genes that regulate vigor in the body is severely affected and this means that the loss of sleep for some time may cause serious problems.
One expert not involved in the study, called for caution.
"We have to be careful, of course, we should not generalize these findings, say, for people accustomed to sleep six hours a day. For them, this is the norm, "says Jim Horne, professor of psychophysiology of sleep research center at Loughborough University, in an interview« The Guardian ».
"In addition, the dream can adapt to some changes, and should assess the quality of sleep, and not just the number of hours of sleep."