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.

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.

Too much sleep is ‘AS bad for your health as smoking and drinking alcohol’. Sleeping more than nine hours a night — combined with sitting too much during the day and a lack of exercise — can be just as bad for you as smoking and drinking alcohol. Mail Online, 12/12/2015.

Suggestions for Better Sleep

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)

Men’s long working hours, short sleep may harm health in old age. Working long hours and skimping on sleep in midlife may lead to poorer physical health in old age, according to a study from Finland. Reuters Health, 11/04/2016.

Physical activity, sleep quality, and self–reported fatigue across the adult lifespan. These results support the hypothesis that physical activity may be associated with sleep quality in older adults, and suggest that improved sleep may mitigate self–reported fatigue in older adults in a manner that is independent of activity. PubMed, Exp Gerontol, 02/04/2016. (Also see Fatigue)

Are pets in the bedroom a problem for sleep? There are many potential health benefits to pet ownership, but a good night’s sleep may not necessarily be one of them, a small study suggests. Reuters Health, 11/20/2015.

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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