Sleep helps in DNA repair and hence important
Why do we need sleep? - interesting science news

This question has been bugging biologists since several years. Why do animals sleep when there is this constant threat of predators? Researchers have found the first evidence of an unexpected function of sleep.

They used 3D time-lapse imaging technique in live zebrafish and were able to show that single neurons require sleep to perform nuclear maintenance. DNA damage can occur due to several reasons like radiation, oxidative stress and regular neural activity. This damage accumulates during wakefulness and can reach unsafe levels too.

Sleep helps in repairing this DNA damage in each neuron. The DNA repair process does not occur efficiently during wakefulness and requires an offline sleep period during which there are reduced inputs. This could explain how sleep and sleep disturbances can affect brain performance as well as ageing and other brain disorders.

Read the full story: Bar-Ilan University (via ScienceDaily)
Scientific publication: Nature Communication

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