Does lack of sleep cause inflammation?

Poor sleep can lead to inflammation, linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, depressions and other chronic illnesses. It's been suggested that both too little and too much sleep may cause inflammation. 

A recent study in the journal Biological Psychiatry  reports that inflammatory markers were found in people who have sleep disturbance issues as well as long sleep duration. Suggesting that both too little and too much sleep may cause inflammation.

“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,” said Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry.

Normal sleep duration is between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night. The researchers reviewed 72 existing studies covering over 50,000 participants for possible links between sleep and inflammatory markers.

Michael Irwin, one of the researchers, stated that 'insomnia and sleep disturbances should be viewed as risk factors for inflammation, along the same lines as sedentary behaviour or an unhealthy diet.'

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention see lack of sleep as a public health epidemic. Sleep disturbances like insomnia can contribute to an increased risk of inflammatory disease and mortality.

See our guide on How to get a better night's sleep.

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