Can’t Stay Healthy? Sleep Patterns May Play A Role

Young woman resting on the couch at home, she is wearing wireless headphones and listening to musicIt’s harder for your body’s immune system to protect you when you don’t get good sleep. Why? Because sleep deprivation is closely associated with higher levels of inflammation.

When you’re experiencing high levels of inflammation for extended periods, the risk for conditions like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and more increase.


Sleep deprivation is associated with higher levels of inflammatory markers. Your body’s molecules to fight intruders and protect tissue, like cytokines, interleukin-6, and C-reactive protein, stay elevated when you don’t sleep well.

These molecules are great if you become infected with a cold or cut yourself open, but they can spell trouble when fired up beyond these temporary responses. This may help explain why people who struggle with sleep are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and other chronic conditions.

One theory about sleep’s contribution to inflammation revolves around blood vessels. Blood pressure drops, and blood vessels relax during sleep. When sleep is restricted, blood pressure doesn’t go down like it should, which could trigger cells in blood vessel walls to activate an inflammatory response.

Too little sleep may also activate the body’s stress response system, which could promote inflammation.

A shortage of sleep may also promote inflammation in the brain. Each night during sleep, a natural housecleaning system in the brain – called the glymphatic system – cleans out waste. Without a good night’s sleep, the process is not as thorough.


It works like this: During the day, your brain cells produce waste. That waste is beta amyloid and is removed during the deepest phases of sleep when cerebrospinal fluid moves through the brain to carry away the beta amyloid protein.

Beta-amyloid is linked to Alzheimer’s.

So, it’s likely that poor sleep may impact inflammation and immune response in a number of ways. Do your best to go to bed on time and create an environment that lets you stay asleep for 7-8 hours every night. You may notice yourself feeling a lot healthier.

Author Bio

About eight years ago, Mat Lecompte had an epiphany. He’d been ignoring his health and suddenly realized he needed to do something about it. Since then, through hard work, determination and plenty of education, he has transformed his life. He’s changed his body composition by learning the ins and outs of nutrition, exercise, and fitness and wants to share his knowledge with you. Starting as a journalist over 10 years ago, Mat has not only honed his belief system and approach with practical experience, but he has also worked closely with nutritionists, dieticians, athletes, and fitness professionals. He embraces natural healing methods and believes that diet, exercise and willpower are the foundation of a healthy, happy, and drug-free existence.


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