Lack of Sleep is Worse than Smoking for Lung Disease

By: | August 20th, 2022

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We all know that insufficient sleep can harm mental and physical health. Poor sleep is linked to many medical conditions, it may increase your risk of developing hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

Getting a good night’s sleep is incredibly important for your health. It is just as important as eating a balanced, nutritious diet and exercising.

Now, a new study conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has found that poor sleep quality may have more significant negative effects than even smoking on individuals with progressive lung disease.

The researchers found that insufficient sleep can increase a COPD patient’s chance of a flare-up by up to 95% compared to those with good sleep.

How was the study conducted?

The researchers monitored 1,647 patients with confirmed COPD for three years. During this period, researchers tracked the “flare-ups,” a short-term worsening of the symptoms, and compared that with self-reported data on sleep quality.

It was found that compared to participants who reported good sleep, those with inadequate sleep had a risk of a flare-up by up to 95 percent.

African Americans have worse sleep patterns than whites

The lead author of the study, Aaron Baugh, MD, a clinical resident at the UCSF Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep Medicine, and the Cardiovascular Research Institute, says that these findings explain why COPD affects African American patients worse than white patients.

He said “African Americans are over-represented in low-income neighborhoods, where people are less likely to have good quality sleep. They may live in crowded spaces with multiple roommates and have less comfortable sleeping conditions, such as a couch, and they may work in a job with a varying schedule that lends itself to sleep disruption,”

“Research shows sleep deprivation is associated with a drop in infection-fighting antibodies and protective cytokines,” he added.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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