Sleep is important. If you don’t sleep well, this can have all kinds of negative consequences. You need it to recover from the day. But what exactly will you recover from a good night’s sleep?
Previously, there was a link between doctors who slept poorly and damage to their DNA. Another team observed that there was more DNA damage during the day than at night. This suggests that sleep helps repair the DNA damage you experience during the day.
In new research from Israel on zebrafish, they take a closer look at this. They saw fish larvae sleep longer if they had more damage to their DNA. The damage seemed to make him tired. By following the larval damage repair material in real time, they saw that the material worked harder when the larvae were asleep. Thus, DNA damage repair was more efficient during sleep.
To see if the presence of this recovery substance also controlled sleep, they gave some larvae more and some larvae less of this substance. And yes: more recovery stuff, more sleep, less damage. It seems that the amount of damage and repair material increases during the day until a certain amount is reached and then the body – from the fish in this case – receives a signal: time to sleep, the damage must be repaired. The next step is to see exactly how this signal is given. And then: whether this discovery helped people, too.
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