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Sleep Deprivation and Inflammation

Have you ever woken up after a rough night of sleep and found yourself experiencing uncomfortable inflammation? You certainly aren’t alone.

Researchers have been studying the link between sleep and inflammation for years. Only recently have they began making headway in understanding the sources of the connection.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the information regarding the dangers of sleep loss, and how you can avoid the negative health impacts of chronic sleep deprivation.

Sleep and Inflammation

Inflammation occurs when the immune system is fighting disease or injury, which in turn releases inflammatory molecules into your system.

Sleep deprivation is associated with symptoms of inflammation, such as an increase in cytokines, interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, and more.

In fact, a study found that chronic sleep deprivation is directly linked to the production of these inflammatory immune cells.

Although the source of these molecules is still disputed, researchers can conclude that increased presence of these chemicals in the brain is caused by lack of sleep.

Effects and Dangers of Sleep Loss

  • Cardiovascular Disease

Researchers have found that the increased presence of immune cells, combined with neurological changes that sleep deprivation can cause, can predispose someone to heart disease.

Some of the heart issues attributed to sleep deprivation are: heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, and high cholesterol. All of these come with their own range of associated health impacts.

  • Autoimmune Disorders

Although some inflammation from the immune system is necessary for it to function, an overactive immune system can cause chronic autoimmune issues. Additionally, important antibodies are reduced during periods of sleep deprivation.

Lack of sleep has been found to alter immune system parameters, leading to not only chronic inflammation, but a variety of metabolic and autoimmune conditions.

  • Hypertension

Sleep deprivation is also linked to high blood pressure. This can have a cascading effect, increasing stress and further pushing you into unhealthy habits.

Although it is still unclear whether hypertension is a cause or effect of inflammation, there are steps you can take to control it — healthy sleep and dietary habits.

  • Diabetes

Chronic inflammation is both a risk factor for and complication of diabetes. Research has found that people with type 2 diabetes who experience chronic sleep disorders have altered insulin production and action.

Sleep deprivation not only increases diabetes risk, but makes it worse for those already dealing with it. If you have a preexisting diabetic condition, these changes in insulin production will make it even more difficult to manage.

Conclusion

More than 50 million Americans struggle with sleep and inflammation. Today, there are more resources than ever to help you get your sleep habits in order.

The most important step in improving your health is understanding what is causing problems. Sleep Dynamics can provide you with all of the information you need to confront the issues head-on.

Sleep Dynamics is New Jersey’s leading sleep specialist, offering sleep disorder diagnosis, treatment, and more. We offer overnight sleep studies that can provide you with an in-depth analysis of your condition, and how to address it.

If you’re ready to take the steps to put your sleep and your health in tip-top shape, get in touch to schedule an appointment today!

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