Too Little Sleep Causes Chronic Inflammation
Because a loss of sleep doesnt allow your body time to repair itself and recharge itself, sleep exhaustion can cause chronic inflammation.
Inflammation in the short term is necessary to help your body fight disease. However, long-term inflammation can put you at risk of developing chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
For example, the book StatPearls reports that chronic inflammation is a side effect of chronic sleep disorders. Lack of sleep and stress cause the body to release inflammatory enzymes. One of the ways to combat chronic inflammation is to sleep between 7 and 8 hours every night.
Research into the long-term effects of sleep deprivation has found that it has the potential to cause mild to moderate organ damage. Sleeping well every night can help to improve your gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health.
Does Your Brain Eat Itself From Lack Of Sleep
Researchers recently found that not getting enough sleep consistently could cause the brain to clear a significant amount of neurons and synaptic connections, while adding that making up for the lost sleep may not be able to undo the damage. In essence, not getting sleep may be causing our brain to start eating itself!
Your Brain Can Eat Itself From Lack Of Sleep
Burning the midnight oil may well burn out your brain. The brain cells that destroy and digest worn-out cells and debris go into overdrive in mice that are chronically sleep-deprived.
In the short term, this might be beneficial clearing potentially harmful debris and rebuilding worn circuitry might protect healthy brain connections. But it may cause harm in the long term, and could explain why a chronic lack of sleep puts people at risk of Alzheimers disease and other neurological disorders, says Michele Bellesi of the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy.
Bellesi reached this conclusion after studying the effects of sleep deprivation in mice. His team compared the brains of mice that had either been allowed to sleep for as long as they wanted or had been kept awake for a further eight hours. Another group of mice were kept awake for five days in a row mimicking the effects of chronic sleep loss.
The team specifically looked at glial cells, which form the brains housekeeping system. Earlier research had found that a gene that regulates the activity of these cells is more active after a period of sleep deprivation.
One type of glial cell, called an astrocyte, prunes unnecessary synapses in the brain to remodel its wiring. Another type, called a microglial cell, prowls the brain for damaged cells and debris.
But the team also found that microglial cells were more active after chronic sleep deprivation.
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Sleep Can Help You Lose Weight
Lack of sleep can make you hungrier. Poor sleep messes with your hormones including ghrelin and leptin, which affect hunger. This is not a small effect studies prove that poor sleep leads to obesity.
Getting less than seven hours of sleep is terrible for your weight. Different people need different amounts of sleep, and the quality of the sleep matters just as much as the number of hours. However, seven hours is a good general rule.
Not only can poor sleep lead to weight gain, but obesity can worsen your sleep quality. This creates a vicious circle that it is hard to get out of. Get enough sleep now to avoid chronic health problems in the future.
Sleeping less can even reduce your self-control. Activity in the frontal lobe of the brain decreases, making you more impulsive. With less self-control, you are more likely to eat fattening, calorie-dense foods.
People who sleep less eat more calories. If you are awake for longer each day and in a bad mood because you are tired, you will eat more. Lack of sleep also hurts your metabolism, causing you to burn fewer calories each day.
If you are limiting calories and sleeping too little, you may lose more muscle and less fat. Muscle loss while dieting is terrible for your health and should always be avoided. Sleep enough when you are on a diet so that you lose fat without muscle loss.
Tiredness can also lead to weight gain by making you less active. If you are tired, you might skip exercise or take it too easy when exercising.
Tips For Better Sleep
Making positive changes to improve your sleep quality will help avoid many of the risks associated with sleep deprivation. Getting a good nights sleep improves your health, boosts your brain function, and helps prevent chronic diseases.
What can you do to get enough sleep every night? Here are some simple tips that doctors recommend for healthy sleep:
- Have a set bedtime and wake-up time every day, even on the weekends.
- Spend the hour before going to bed as a quiet time and avoid bright artificial lights .
- Dont eat heavy meals or drink caffeinated or alcoholic drinks before going to bed.
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Sleep Is The Best Immune Booster: Rest Improves Your Ability To Fight Off Infections
During your sleep, the body creates and releases proteins known as cytokines, which fight infections and inflammation.
A 2015 study published in the journal Sleep found that a lack of sleep was linked to greater risk of getting a cold after subjects were intentionally exposed to the cold virus.
You need to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep or take short naps during the day. ;You can take two naps of 30 minutes each or less, one during the morning and one in the afternoon. Adequate sleep can reduce stress and strengthen the immune system, according to studies.
Sleep Deprivation Shrinks Your Brain
Just like leading a sedentary lifestyle can cause your muscles to atrophy, not recharging your brain with sleep can cause your brain to shrink, according to a study published in the journal Neurology. Brain atrophy can impair your ability to communicate effectively, contribute to muscle weakness, hearing loss, seizures, neuropsychological impairment, and more, according to health website Active Beat. Before you freak out, this isn’t going to happen from staying up all night once or twice. However, if you pull all nighters on the regular, you’re putting yourself at increased risk of developing the incredible shrinking brain. If you’re tired AF, and not getting enough sleep at night, consider booking some time at a nap cafe to catch a few extra zzzs. If you’re into having your brain eat itself, carry on as you have been Ã¢â¬â it might make a good storyline on Grey’s Anatomy.
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Long Term Sleep Deprivation May Lead To Cancer
Insufficient sleep can be one of the factors that can increase your risk of developing cancer.
The Journal of Cancer reports that chronic sleep deprivation is associated with incidences of cancer. For example, insomnia or sleep apnea can increase a persons risk of breast cancer, oral cancer, or prostate cancer.
Some studies, however, have not found a definite link between the long-term effects of sleep deprivation and cancer. Interestingly, regularly sleeping longer than 8 hours a night could increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
Regularly getting a good nights sleep boosts your immune system and helps your body fight disease. Find out what foods you should eat to help lower your risk of various types of cancer.
What Happens To The Brain When You Sleep
Every single night, the body cycles through specific sleep stages. Each full circle takes around 90 minutes. You cycle through the stages for your entire snoozing time. Heres what happens during each one, according to WebMD.
- The first stage is non-REM sleep, known as the N1 stage. The N1 stage involves very light sleep. This is the time when you could still be easily awoken. Its also the stage where you can wake up and feel the most refreshed.
- The N2 phase is where you spend most of your night. Here is where the brain starts to file long-term memories. Thus, this phase could be crucial to memory, concentration, and focus. Failing to go through enough of this stage could cause you to be more forgetful.
- The N3 stage involves deep sleep. This cycle starts out very long but progressively gets shorter throughout the night. During this stage, the body focuses on repairing itself, so skipping this stage robs you of positive benefits. Eating late and drinking alcohol can prevent the body from entering deep sleep enough times to be fully restored. Of course, sleeping too little or too much has the same result.
- The REM stage happens towards the end of one cycle, in the last 30 minutes. During this rapid eye movement stage is when we dream. Being jogged awake during REM sleep can make one drowsy, so completing the cycle is important.
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Your Brain Begins To Eat Itself When You Dont Sleep
You may know that a good sleep schedule is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle, but did you know that when you dont get enough sleep, your brain starts eating itself?
Im not saying this in the literal sense of the word, but research from the Polytechnic University of Marche in Italy shows that astrocytes, a type of glial cells in the brain that regularly shed unnecessary nerve connections, begin to break down healthy nerve synapses in response to chronic sleep deprivation.
In the study, the mice were divided into four groups: rested ; spontaneously awake ; sleep deprived , and chronically sleep deprived .
The researchers then looked at the activity of the astrocytes in each of the four groups. In well-rested mice, 5.7% of brain synapses had astrocyte activity. In mice that were spontaneously awake, the amount changed to 7.3%. But in mice that were sleep-deprived and chronically sleep-deprived, the number rose to 8.4% and 13.5%.
How Much Sleep Do You Need
Your need for sleep and your sleep patterns change as you age, but this varies significantly across individuals of the same age.; There is no magic number of sleep hours that works for everybody of the same age.; Babies initially sleep as much as 16 to 18 hours per day, which may boost growth and development .; School-age children and teens on average need about 9.5 hours of sleep per night.; Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night, but after age 60, nighttime sleep tends to be shorter, lighter, and interrupted by multiple awakenings.; Elderly people are also more likely to take medications that interfere with sleep.;
In general, people are getting less sleep than they need due to longer work hours and the availability of round-the-clock entertainment and other activities.;
Many people feel they can “catch up” on missed sleep during the weekend but, depending on how sleep-deprived they are, sleeping longer on the weekends may not be adequate.;
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Treatment For Sleep Deprivation
The most basic form of sleep deprivation treatment is getting an adequate amount of sleep, typically 7 to 9 hours each night.
This is often easier said than done, especially if youve been deprived of precious shut-eye for several weeks or longer. After this point, you may need help from your doctor or a sleep specialist who, if needed, can diagnose and treat a possible sleep disorder.
Sleep disorders may make it difficult to get quality sleep at night. They may also increase your risk for the above effects of sleep deprivation on the body.
The following are some of the most common types of sleep disorders:
- circadian rhythm disorders
To diagnose these conditions, your doctor may order a sleep study. This is traditionally conducted at a formal sleep center, but now there are options to measure your sleep quality at home, too.
If youre diagnosed with a sleep disorder, you may be given medication or a device to keep your airway open at night to help combat the disorder so you can get a better nights sleep on a regular basis.
The best way to prevent sleep deprivation is to make sure you get adequate sleep. Follow the recommended guidelines for your age group, which is 7 to 9 hours for most adults ages 18 to 64.
Other ways you can get back on track with a healthy sleep schedule include:
Where Can I Get More Information
For information on other neurological disorders or research programs funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, contact the Institute’s Brain Resources and Information Network at:
Office of Communications and Public LiaisonNational Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthBethesda, MD 20892NIH Publication No. 17-3440c
NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.
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The Research From 2017
Researchers from the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy, headed by neuroscientist Michele Bellesi, conducted the study in 2017 that led to this discovery using four groups of mice with varying degrees of rest.
One group got six to eight hours of sleep, meaning they are well-rested, while another group is periodically woken up.
On the other hand, one group of mice was kept awake for an extra eight hours, making them the sleep-deprived group; the last one was kept awake for five days straight, making them chronically sleep-deprived.
The team then began imaging their brains and compared them, looking for astrocyte activity.
Tips For Getting A Good Night’s Sleep
Getting enough sleep is good for your health.; Here are a few tips to improve your sleep:
Set a schedule go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
Exercise 20 to 30 minutes a day but no later than a few hours before going to bed.
Avoid caffeine and nicotine late in the day and alcoholic drinks before bed.
Relax before bed try a warm bath, reading, or another relaxing routine.
Create a room for sleep avoid bright lights and loud sounds, keep the room at a comfortable temperature, and dont watch TV or have a computer in your bedroom.
Dont lie in bed awake.; If you cant get to sleep, do something else, like reading or listening to music, until you feel tired.;
See a doctor if you have a problem sleeping or if you feel unusually tired during the day.; Most sleep disorders can be treated effectively.
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How To Avoid Early
How to Avoid Early-Morning Insomnia
Groups of mice in the study were given varying amounts of sleep, ranging from a solid eight hours to being forced to stay awake for five straight days, according to the study.
During sleep, glial cells, or astrocytes, clear the brain of synapses to rejuvenate the brain, US News reports. Another cell is also at work when youre snoozing. The microglial cell destroys old and worn out cells via a process called phagocytosis meaning to devour in Greek, Science Alert revealed.
These processes have a positive effect while you sleep, rewiring and replenishing the brain for the next day. Essentially, the brain is eliminating whats irrelevant, holding onto whats vital, and making room for new memories, Newsweek explains.
However, when you stay awake, the cells actually go into overdrive and start hurting the brain instead.
The study found that sleep-deprived mice had more active astrocytes than well-rested mice, which means the brain appeared to begin eating itself, US News reported.
We show for the first time that portions of synapses are literally eaten by astrocytes because of sleep loss, Bellesi told Andy Coghlan at New Scientist. But it may cause harm in the long term, and could explain why a chronic lack of sleep puts people at risk of Alzheimers disease and other neurological disorders.
This story was originally published on the New York Post and republished here with permission.
How The Brain Eats Itself
According to a report by;ScienceAlert, sleep is more than just a way for the body to replenish energy levels, but it also helps the brain clear itself of toxic byproducts from the day’s activities.
This same process also happens with the sleep-deprived, but it gets overboard, and the result is the brain literally eats itself, causing damage that even catching up on sleep may not be able to reverse.
The brain is cleared by two types of glial cells, which are often deemed the “glue” of the nervous system.
The first type is known as microglial cells responsible for the process of phagocytosis–a word that means “to devour” in Greek–and clears out old and worn out brain cells.
Meanwhile, the second is known as astrocytes, and its job is to prune unnecessary synapses in the brain to help it refresh and to reshape its wiring, but due to chronic lack of sleep, the astrocytes increase their activity and begin devouring portions of synapses, much like what microglial cells do.
This process is known as astrocytic phagocytosis.
“We show for the first time that portions of synapses are literally eaten by astrocytes because of sleep loss,” Bellesi said in an interview with;NewScientist.