If you stay up late watching movies, but wake up early for work, you might want to consider switching up your sleep schedule.

A new study, published in the journal PNAS, shows that our genes are actually altered when we lose out on sleep.

Study volunteers went from having up to 10 hours of sleep per night, to a week of having less than six each night. A blood analysis showed that the four-hour sleep difference had a huge impact on genes.

"There was quite a dramatic change in activity in many different kinds of genes,"
Colin Smith, a professor at the University of Surrey, told the BBC.

Those genes affect our immune and stress response—which means a lack of sleep could make us more susceptible to illness.

Lack of sleep is already linked to type 2 diabetes, weight gain, depression and high blood pressure.

So, as much as you (okay, I) want to stay up late watching Netflix movies, if it means you’ll lose out on sleep, it’s probably better to get to bed.

How much sleep do you usually get? Do you delay going to bed because you’d rather be doing something else?


-Katharine Watts, Associate Web Editor

Related:
How sleep affects your health
6 easy ways to improve your sleep
5 reasons to get more sleep