A Mirror news report examines the relationship between genes and sleep.

Sleep restriction (six and a half to seven hours a night) changed 380 genes.

Of these, 220 genes were down regulated by sleep restriction (their power was reduced), while 160 were up regulated (their power was increased).

Those affected included body-clock genes which are linked to diabetes.

One of the most downgraded genes is that which has a role in controlling insulin and is linked to diabetes and insomnia. The most upgraded gene is linked to heart disease.

So changing sleep by tiny amounts can upgrade or downgrade genes that can influence our health and the diseases we become prey to when we sleep too little.

The important message is that getting close to eight hours of sleep a night can make a dramatic difference to our health in just a few days through the way it looks after our genes.

View the full story at www.mirror.co.uk