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Poor sleep 'dramatically' alters genes, study says

UK researchers found activity in hundreds of genes was altered when people got less than six hours sleep a day for a week.

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UK researchers found activity in hundreds of genes was altered when people got less than six hours sleep a day for a week. (Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images)

Not getting enough sleep can "dramatically" alter your body, according to a new research study from the University of Surrey.

UK researchers found that activity in hundreds of genes was altered when a person got less than six hours sleep a day for a week.

The BBC reported diabetes, obesity and heart disease have all been linked to poor sleep.

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The study looked at the blood of over two dozen people after 10 hours of sleep each night for a week, and compared the results with samples of those who had less than six hours a night, the BBC explained.

What they found was that more than 700 genes were altered.

"Clearly sleep is critical to rebuilding the body and maintaining a functional state, all kinds of damage appear to occur - hinting at what may lead to ill health," University of Surrey Professor Colin Smith told the BBC.

"If we can't actually replenish and replace new cells, then that's going to lead to degenerative diseases."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/130227/poor-sleep-dramatically-alters-body-chemistry-study