Sleep Loss Boosts Arthritis Risk
WASHINGTON, Sept. 3, 2008 (Xinhua) -- Loss of sleep, even for a few short hours during the night, can prompt one's immune system to turn against healthy tissue and organs, according to a recent study.
Researchers from the University of California reported on the Sept. 15 issue of Biological Psychiatry that losing sleep for even part of one night can trigger the key cellular pathway that produces tissue-damaging inflammation.
The findings suggest a good night's sleep can ease the risk of both heart disease and autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Specifically, the researchers measured the levels of a transcription factor that serves a vital role in the body's inflammatory signaling in healthy adults. These measurements were repeatedly assessed, including in the morning after normal sleep, after partial sleep deprivation and after recovery sleep.
In the morning after sleep loss, they discovered that activation of the signaling factor was significantly greater than after normal or recovery sleep.
These data close an important gap in understanding the cellular mechanisms by which sleep loss enhances inflammatory biology in humans, with implications for understanding the association between sleep disturbance and risk of a wide spectrum of medical conditions including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes, certain cancers, and obesity.
"The closer that we look at sleep, the more that we learn about the benefits of sleeping. In this case, the researchers provide evidence that sleep deprivation is associated with enhancement of pro-inflammatory processes in the body," said John Krystal, editor of the journal.
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