This Unexpected Habit Leads To Inflammation — Are You Doing It?

October 20, 2022 — 10:28 AM

If you want to focus on managing inflammation in the body, you may first look at your diet. There are a plethora of foods you may plug in and take out for this purpose, but even then there are other lifestyle factors significantly contributing to inflammation you may not be aware of—one of which is sleep.

A recent study from the journal of PLOS Medicine looked at the sleep schedules of adults ages 50 to 70—and the results provide yet another reason to prioritize shut-eye each night. Not only does sleep deprivation seem to directly affect inflammation, but it also plays a role in one’s risk of developing multimorbidity, or multiple diseases. Here’s what to know.

Why you should be sleeping 7+ hours a night. 

According to the study, 50-somethings who got less than five hours of sleep every night experienced a 30% higher risk of developing multiple chronic diseases over time than those who slept at least seven hours a night.

For those aged 60 and 70, that risk only increased. When referring to multimorbidity, the researchers clarify that these include:

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Depression
  • Dementia
  • Mental Disorders
  • Parkinson’s
  • Arthritis

So, what is it about sleep that’s so essential to our health? Well, according to researchers, “Sleep duration and quality might impact health via their role in the regulation of endocrine and metabolic processes, inflammation, and circadian rhythm.” 

While everyone needs a different amount of sleep to feel rested and recover from the day, most experts recommend aiming to achieve seven to nine hours of shut-eye each night. Getting enough sleep is important at every age—beyond those surveyed in this study. And interestingly enough, people get the least amount of sleep in their 40s on average, so it’s worth paying more attention to during that decade.

You may now be looking for ways to get better sleep ASAP. While there is no magic remedy to reach that seven- to nine-hour window every night, there are plenty of healthy habits to introduce into your routine that can help. They include staying off screens at night, eating an earlier dinner, avoiding caffeine and alcohol later in the day, and making sure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet.

The right sleep supplement can also get you started on the path to a smoother snooze (and, as this new research shows, better overall health). Here are our favorites.

If you want to ease inflammation in the body, you should be looking beyond your plate and at your sleep schedule. Research shows that sleeping for less than five hours each night may increase markers of inflammation and heighten your risk of developing multiple chronic health disorders. Consider this your cue to grab that weighted blanket and sleepy tea and get snoozing.

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