Long term sleep deprivation can do more than just making you feel crabby, irritable, drained, and sleepy, according to a study published in Biological Psychiatry. A host of mental and health issues can ensue because of it. So, if you haven’t caught a wink in ages, this may be your reason to quit staying awake for too long.
Lack of Sleep and Inflammation
The study found that inflammation of various organs are linked to lack of sleep. The findings were based on 72 reports from test subjects. Dr. John Krystal, editor of Biological Psychiatry, says, however, that sleep deprivation isn’t solely to blame for the condition.
“It is important to highlight that both too much and too little sleep appears to be associated with inflammation, a process that contributes to depression as well as many medical illnesses,” he said.
Sleeping for more or less than 7-8 hours are found to increase the risk of inflammatory symptoms. Disturbances such as insomnia and frequent awakening every few hours are signs of poor sleep, and they have been associated with diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and hear problems. Coupled with a sedentary lifestyle, poor sleep is also a risk factor for inflammation.
Michael Irwin of UCLA, an author of the study, stresses that sleep health is an important component of one’s overall wellbeing, in addition to proper diet and exercise. Previous studies support these findings. A 2015 research linked sleep deprivation and oversleeping to increased low-grade inflammation, depression, and diabetes. Those with a pre-existing heart condition are more likely to develop sleep-related inflammation, according to a 2013 study.
Inflammation And The Body
An immune response, inflammation can protect and harm the body. It can fight against infectious diseases and injuries, and at the same time, it can also promote certain chronic diseases. Inflammatory conditions include asthma, arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, and some types of cancer. Helpful as the response may be, it’s best to keep it to a minimum, letting it occur to protect the body rather than harm it.
Based on these findings, scientists agree that the link between poor sleep and inflammation is clear. Although more research is necessary to shed more light on the relationship, it’s important to protect yourself from its effects. Planning a sleeping schedule and sticking to it will reduce the likelihood of sleep deprivation. Not too much, and not too little. Sleeping just enough is sleeping healthy.