Whoever you are, whatever your gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, lifestyle choices, and so on, there’s something we all do and need on a daily basis that can affect inflammation in our bodies. So, what’s common to everyone? It is sleep – a seemingly pure and simple process during which many complex biological systems are in action. Most people are aware that we need enough sleep for optimum health. What a lot of people don’t know, is that if we don’t get enough, or even if we get too much, sleep can trigger inflammation in our bodies.
Whether you’re experiencing acute or chronic inflammation, your levels of sleep may be affecting any inflamed areas of your body. Here we take a quick look at what inflammation is and how sleep is associated with it.
What Are the Types of Inflammation?
Inflammation in your body is a natural process and response that can happen for many reasons. If you have an injury or an infection, your body may respond with localized swelling. This is usually acute inflammation or short-term inflammation. Chronic inflammation is long-term. It may be associated with unresolved infections and recovery from serious injuries. Chronic inflammation also occurs with many types of illnesses and diseases.
In the short term, acute inflammation is a response that plays a protective role in our bodies. Yes, in this situation, inflammation is actually a good thing. Inflammation occurs as a result of our immune system kicking into gear. It may protect an injured or infected area, and/or fight off pathogens to help with a healthy recovery. Once we have recuperated and all is well again, the inflammation subsides.
Long term, chronic inflammation is often associated with disorders and conditions. These include chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and lupus, as well as aging and recovery from serious injury. As a result of these types of conditions, our bodies still perceive a similar threat as they would with an acute event. This means our body responds in exactly the same way – with inflammation around the affected areas and joints. The effects of chronic inflammation are not good. It is correlated with stress and damage spreading to otherwise healthy tissues and cells, including major organs.
What Are Inflammation Triggers?
Injury, infection, and illness are not the only factors when it comes to your body’s inflammatory response. There are many other areas of life such as your levels of stress, your diet, and toxins in your environment that can also play a part. How so? Once again, your body will respond and react to unhealthy levels or things it sees as a threat. The response is inflammation to protect the area.
Sleep and Inflammation
When it comes to sleep, most of us know that getting a good night’s sleep is pretty important to our overall wellbeing. But did you know that not only is not enough sleep a trigger for an inflammation response, so is too much sleep? The old adage is true here, it’s all about balance.
Balancing our Bio Rhythms
Sleep, our immune system, and inflammation are all regulated by our biorhythms. Without getting too technical, biorhythms and circadian rhythms both play a part in taking care of hormonal balances, cell regeneration, and so forth. To keep these systems functioning at their best, we need to find a balance that allows our bodies the time they need in both waking and sleeping states.
Sleep Levels and Inflammation
What studies have shown is that sleep duration and disturbances have been associated with increases in inflammation indicators. Key biological markers that are related to increased inflammation have been found in studies on the effects of lack of sleep and longer sleep durations. So whether you’re getting too little sleep, too much, or interrupted sleep, you may experience more inflammation as a result. There are some things that may help with chronic inflammation and the oxidative stress it creates, such as molecular hydrogen (a huge health and wellness trend: https://www.vital-reaction.com/blogs/news/what-is-molecular-hydrogen) but first things first – get your sleep!
Stress and Sleep
Coupled with sleeping well is finding a way to manage any stress in your life. Stress levels and quality of sleep often go hand in hand. Similarly, high levels of stress can also increase and exacerbate any inflammation in your body. Striving to strike the right balance of regular sleep is vital. Not only to help reduce your ability to manage stress, the right balance of sleep will also help your immune system deal with inflammation.
What is A Good Night’s Sleep?
Our bodies are actually working wonders while we sleep. Typically, adults need between seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. This helps with functioning at your best both mentally and physically. What’s more, we all function better when we are able to keep to regular routines and consistent sleep patterns. Every night counts – sleep well!