Why do we Sleep? A New Study Suggests That Snoozing Repairs Damaged DNA

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When you don’t get enough sleep, you can feel drained, sluggish and lazy. So, we sip our coffee, attempting to make it through the day, until it’s time to slip back into bed. But besides the fact that we feel terrible if we don’t get enough, researchers have struggled to figure out why humans and animals sleep.

A new study by scientists at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, though, may help us find out. While studying brain activity in live zebrafish, they found that DNA repaired itself much more quickly at night than during the day. During waking hours, strands of DNA were slow to fix themselves. But at night, repair was ramped up and daytime DNA damage was cleared out. The findings, published today in the journal Nature Communicationssuggest that our brains need sleep to keep chromosomes and DNA healthy.

Stumped Scientists

The need to catch some Zs, seen…

For the rest of the article, please visit http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2019/03/05/sleep-repairs-dna-damage/.

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Last modified: March 11, 2019

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