from PLOS Biology
Who would have thought it, but sleep may be an antioxidant. The Columbia University research, published in PLOS Biology, is more complex than that. Oxidative stress can damage cells in the body, but researchers were able to show that sleep defends against and increases resistance to oxidative stress. These results are from laboratory studies, but researchers say the work is relevant to human health because sleep disorders are linked with many diseases that are also associated with oxidative stress, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. Sleep loss could make people more sensitive to oxidative stress and subsequent disease—or—some other pathological disruption of the antioxidant response could lead to loss of sleep.