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Chronically sleep deprived? You can't make up for lost sleep

lostatic response. In the short term, allostatic responses are adaptive, but when sustained on a chronic basis, such as in their study, an allostatic load will develop and lead to negative health outcomes. The allostatic load resulting from the accumulating sleep debt loops back to the sleep regulatory system itself and alters it.

Even though animals and humans may be able to adapt their sleep system to deal with repeated sleep restriction conditions, there could be negative consequences when this pattern is maintained over a long period of time, said Turek. This brings us back to the idea that repeated partial sleep restriction in humans has been linked to metabolic dysfunction and cardiovascular disease.

Our lab is very interested in the interactions between sleep loss and metabolic function, said Aaron D. Laposky, research assistant professor at the Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology and an author of the paper. As Americans have been getting less sleep per night, there has been a parallel trend for body mass index to significantly increase. We believe that when partial sleep loss occurs repeatedly over a long period of time, individuals are predisposed to alterations in the function of many physiological systems.


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Contact: Megan Fellman
fellman@northwestern.edu
847-491-3115
Northwestern University
2-Jul-2007


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