Death Due to Sleep Deprivation Linked Causally to the Gut, and is Preventable in Flies

Harvard Medical School neuroscientists identified the gut as an unexpected, causal link between sleep deprivation and premature death. Their study in sleep-deprived fruit flies found that death was always preceded by the accumulation of reactive oxidative species in the gut. Giving the fruit flies antioxidant compounds that neutralized and cleared ROS from the gut allowed sleep-deprived animals to stay active and have normal lifespans. Accumulation of ROS in the gut was also demonstrated in sleep-deprived mice.