Sleeping seven to nine hours daily is considered healthy for the proper functioning of our brain. If you’re not able to get a good night’s sleep, it may result in various health risks. Irregular sleep not only puts you at risk of anxiety and stress–but can also lead to serious chronic diseases such as diabetes, depression, obesity and much more. A recent study published in the journal PNAS also adds that your sleeping patterns can lead to untreatable lung disease.
People who sleep more than 11 hours a day or less than four hours a day are at twice the risk of having an incurable lung disease and pulmonary fibrosis, as compared to those who get the required hours of sleep.
The researchers from the universities of Manchester and Oxford in the UK also noted that our internal body clock regulates almost every cell in our body. This internal clock is responsible for our body processes such as sleep, hormone secretion, and metabolism.
In our lungs, the clock is mainly located in the main air carrying passages or the airways.
The team discovered the people with lung fibrosis, whose lung tissues are damaged and scarred makes it more difficult for the organ to work properly. In such situations, these clock oscillations extend out to the small air spaces called alveoli.
John Blaikley from The University of Manchester, who led the project also says,
“Pulmonary fibrosis is a devastating condition which is incurable at present, Therefore, the discovery that the body clock is potentially a key player potentially opens new ways to treat or prevent the condition”
Using human data from the UK Biobank, a research resource containing health and genetic information for half a million people shows that pulmonary fibrosis is actually linked with short and long sleep duration. The researchers also backed their findings by discovering REVERBα, a core clock protein that alters the production of collagen which is the key protein in lung fibrosis.
Further study is required to build an association between pulmonary fibrosis and sleep duration both causation and reproducibility. Blaikley also added that if the results of the association are confirmed then many diseases’ impact might be reduced by sleeping for the optimal time.