Sleep Disorders and Illness

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Overview of Sleep Disorders and Illness
Suggestions for Better Sleep
Sleep Disorders and Genetics
Sleep Spindles
Immune System and Circadian Clocks
Infections and Sleep
Inflammation and Sleep
Sleep Apnea

Overview of Sleep Disorders and Illness

With the onset of chronic illness, a good night's sleep is often the first thing to go. Sometimes poor sleep is a precursor to illness, and other times it is a result.

Idiopathic hypersomnia (unexplained daytime sleepiness). Hypersomnia means excessive sleep or sleepiness that interferes with everyday life. NHS Choices.

Dementia caregiving takes toll on sleep. Family caregivers for dementia patients don’t sleep as long or as well as other adults of the same age, a new study suggests. Reuters Health, 08/23/2019.

Sleep myths may hinder good sleep and health. Wrong pronouncements and widespread beliefs about sleeping, what quality sleep means and how to achieve it, can do more harm than good, researchers argue. Reuters Health, 04/19/2019.

The impact of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms in scleroderma (SSc): effects on sleep quality. Future studies should examine mechanisms underlying nocturnal GERD symptoms in SSc patients, and the impact of improved GERD symptom control on sleep quality. PubMed, Dis Esophagus, 01/31/2019. (Also see Reflux (Heartburn) and GERD)

Poor sleep associated with higher risk of chronic pain. People who sleep poorly may be more likely to develop a chronic pain condition and have worse physical health, a study from the UK suggests. Reuters Health, 09/19/2017.

What are 'depression naps' and are they a sign of trouble? A variety of studies indicate that between 65 to 90 percent of adult patients with major depression experience some type of sleep problem. Health Today, 08/11/2017. (Also see Depression)

How sleep deprivation affects your brain. An Italian study concluded that sleep deprivation can actually cause brain cells to eat parts of the brain’s synapses and participants who hadn’t had enough sleep became more angry and stressed when trying to complete a simple cognitive test. The Independent, 06/27/2017.

The Science of Adolescent Sleep. Adolescents’ bodies want to stay up late and sleep late, putting them out of sync with what their school schedules demand of them. New York Times, 05/22/2017.

Getting Older, Sleeping Less. The causes of insomnia are many, and they increase in number and severity as people age. New York Times, 01/16/2017.

Suggestions for Better Sleep

Sleep and exercise compete for people's time. On weekday mornings, two healthy activities – exercise and sleep – compete with each other for time, researchers say. Reuters Health, 11/20/2018. (Also see Coping Strategies)

Sleep may impact college grades more than drinking or drugs. A new study suggests lack of sleep is at least as bad for academic success as binge drinking or doing drugs. Reuters Health, 09/11/2018.

On World Sleep Day, experts offer tips for some quality ZZZZs. With tens of millions of Americans struggling to get enough shut–eye, sleep researchers are hoping to focus more attention on the times where we’re out of it. Washington Post, 03/17/2017.

Work at home? Watch out! You're more likely to suffer insomnia, stress and depression. Working from home may be saving you commuting time, but it could also be causing insomnia, stress and depression, a new report says. Mail Online, 02/15/2017. (Also see Stress and Depression)

Sleep and Genetics

People with a certain gene, HLA DQB1*0602, are at high risk for insomnia, fatigue and narcolepsy.

Sleep Spindles

Sleep Spindles: Where They Come From, What They Do. A highlight in the search of roles for sleep spindles is the repeated finding that spindles correlate with memory consolidation in humans and animals. PubMed, Neuroscientist.

Immune System and Circadian Clocks

Researchers are exploring the relationship between insufficient sleep and poor health.

Effects of insufficient sleep on circadian rhythmicity and expression amplitude of the human blood transcriptome. Insufficient sleep and circadian rhythm disruption are associated with negative health outcomes, but the mechanisms involved remain largely unexplored. PNAS.

Infections and Sleep

(Case Report) Can more sleep help fight off colds? A new study suggests that people who lose just a bit of sleep, or those who have poor quality sleep, are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a cold virus than those who get more shut-eye. CNN Health.

Inflammation and Sleep

Acute sleep fragmentation (SF) does not alter pro–inflammatory cytokine gene expression in brain or peripheral tissues of leptin–deficient mice. These findings suggest that leptin deficiency affects cytokine gene expression differently in the brain compared to peripheral tissues with minimal interaction from acute SF. PubMed, PeerJ, 2018 Feb 19;6:e4423. (Also see Cytokines)

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea causes people to frequently stop breathing during sleep. The episodes can last for several seconds or longer. It results in unrefreshing sleep which can cause daytime sleepiness and fatigue. It is associated with many diseases, including high blood pressure, obesity, and heart problems. It is diagnosed with sleep laboratory studies, and typically treated with a CPAP machine, however other methods may include surgery, oxygen, medications, and throat exercises. ISN.

Overview of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea and Autoimmune Diseases
Patient Stories
Go to Sleep Apnea

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