The September 15, 2008, issue of Biological Psychiatry, by the UCLA Cousins Center research team, reports that losing sleep for even part of one night can trigger a key cellular pathway that produces tissue-damaging inflammation.
Specifically, the researchers measured the levels of nuclear factor KB (NF-KB), a transcription factor that serves a vital role in the body's inflammatory signaling in healthy adults. They found this increase in inflammatory response only in female subjects.
We've long known that poor sleep often results in chronic pain. This study improves our understanding of why this occurs—and may also shed light on the immune dysfunction seen in CFS and fibromyalgia.
"Physical and psychological stress brought on in part by grinding work, school and social schedules is keeping millions of Americans up at night," says Dr. Irwin, lead author and director of the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at the Semel Institute. "America's sleep habits are simply not healthy. Our findings suggest even modest sleep loss may play a role in common disorders that affect sweeping segments of the population."
Natural remedies can be very helpful for those with insomnia. If your mind is wide awake and racing at bedtime, begin with an herbal sleep-support supplement that also supports healthy cortisol levels. If you simply have insomnia, begin with an herbal supplement that promotes healthy sleep. These can both be used together, and results will be seen the first night you try them, with effectiveness increasing over the first week of use. They are NOT addictive and can be used intermittently or on a regular basis.
For more information, see "Loss of Sleep, Even for a Single Night, Increases Inflammation in the Body" (ScienceDaily.com).
Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.