Still the longest night? Long-term lack of sleep, the problem is the gut.

With the most expensive eye cream, the longest night is a similar lifestyle for contemporary people. Staying up late and losing sleep has become the theme of the city’s nightlife. Symptoms of lack of sleep, presumably everyone is familiar with, tiredness, difficult ymme, forgetfulness, irritability and so on. Long-term lack of sleep can be fatal. As early as 1983, researchers in Chicago conducted a study of mice that showed that complete lack of sleep inevitably led to death. However, decades have passed and a core question remains unresolved: Why do animals die without sleeping?

Now, neuroscientists at Harvard Medical School in the United States have discovered a causal cause-and-effect cause of death from lack of sleep. The findings were published June 4 in the journal Cell.

Still the longest night? Long-term lack of sleep, the problem is the gut.

The researchers found that lack of sleep caused the accumulation of reactive oxygen (ROS) molecules in the intestines of fruit flies and mice, while the accumulation of ROS in the intestines triggered oxidative stress in the organs. In other words, ROS is not only a factor associated with lack of sleep, but also a driver of death. The good news is that removing oxides from animals’ intestines, such as oral antioxidant compounds, does not live as much as animals that stay asleep properly, even if they stay up late for long periods of time.

Sleep is the foundation of life. In humans, chronic sleep deprivation is associated with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity, depression and many other diseases. Scientists have long studied sleep, but most of the research has focused on the brain, with no conclusive results.

Study author Dragana Rogulja, an associate professor of neurobiology, said: “We were surprised to find that the gut plays an important role in leading to death. Even more surprising is that premature deaths from lack of sleep can be avoided, and ros in the intestines can be avoided. “

Still the longest night? Long-term lack of sleep, the problem is the gut.

In the latest study, the team conducted a series of experiments in fruit flies. Because fruit flies share many sleep-regulating genes with humans, and fruit flies have a shorter life cycle for easy observation. They genetically manipulate the fruit fly’s specific neurons to express a heat-sensitive protein, whose activity inhibits sleep. When fruit flies are placed at 29 degrees Celsius, the protein induces neurons to remain active, which inhibits the fruit fly’s sleep.

Still the longest night? Long-term lack of sleep, the problem is the gut.

Reactive oxygen (ROS) accumulates in the intestines of sleep-deprived fruit flies (one day, seven days, ten days, left to right)

After 10 days of sleep deprivation, the mortality rate of fruit flies peaked and all died around the 20th day. Under the same environmental conditions, control flies that maintain normal sleep can survive for up to 40 days.

Since mortality peaked around the 10th day, researchers looked for signs of cell damage on that day and in the days before. Compared with sleep-deprived fruit flies and normal sleep-deprived fruit flies, most tissues, including the brain, are no different, with one notable exception – a large amount of ROS accumulates in the intestinal cavity of sleep-deprived fruit flies.

These ROS are highly reactive oxygen-containing molecules that destroy DNA and other components within the cell in large quantities, causing cell death. THE ACCUMULATION OF ROS PEAKED AROUND THE 10TH DAY IN THE SLEEP-DEPRIVED FRUIT FLY GROUP, AND WHEN SLEEP DEPRIVATION STOPPED, ROS LEVELS DECREASED. Mouse tests also confirmed that only the intestines of animals that sustained sleep deprivation accumulate ros.

Still the longest night? Long-term lack of sleep, the problem is the gut.


To find out whether ROS in the gut is causate to cause death due to lack of sleep, the researchers studied whether clearing ROS accumulation could prolong survival. They tested dozens of compounds with antioxidant properties that are known to neutralise ROS and can be used as food supplements. It has been found that these compounds (e.g. melatonin, NAD) are particularly effective in removing ROS from the intestines, allowing sleep-deprived fruit flies to have a normal or near-normal lifespan. It is worth noting that the supplementary compounds did not extend the life of sleeping normal fruit flies.

Still the longest night? Long-term lack of sleep, the problem is the gut.

Comparison shows the efficacy of antioxidant compounds removing ROS from sleep-deprived fruit fly intestines

Experiments with genetically regulated fruit flies to produce excess antioxidant enzymes in their intestines further confirmed the role of removal of ROS in preventing death. These fruit flies have a normal to near-normal life span during sleep deprivation, compared with control flies that produce antioxidant enzymes in excess of the nervous system.

It’s also worth noting that we know that lack of sleep interferes with the body’s hunger signaling pathways, so the team also measured fruit flies’ food intake to analyze whether there is a potential link between eating and death. The results showed that some sleep-deprived fruit flies ate more throughout the day than the control flies who slept normally. However, restricting access to food has no effect on survival. So, lack of sleep will become fat, the crux of which is.

In conclusion, the results show that the accumulation of ROS in the intestines plays a central role in premature death due to lack of sleep. But the researchers warn that many questions remain unanswered. For example, we still don’t know why lack of sleep causes ROS accumulation in the gut and why it’s so deadly.

Now, researchers are trying to find biological pathways that cause ROS to accumulate in the intestines and subsequently cause physical damage. The team hopes their work will offset or reduce the damage caused by lack of sleep.

Go to bed early and get up early, starting tonight. However, the truth is understood, but still too bad this life.



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Still the longest night? Long-term lack of sleep, the problem is the gut.