New research is showing that ulcerative colitis, a condition causing ulcers and inflammation in the large intestine and rectum, may be linked with how much sleep you get. A good night’s rest is often the first thing to be sacrificed to a busy schedule. On the flip side, sleeping in every day is going to cause problems as well. The more research is done into how our rest habits affect our lives, the more important getting to bed and waking up on time becomes.
Scientists working with lead study author Dr. Ashwin N. Ananthakrishnan of Massachusetts General Hospital, examined the sleep habits and subsequent occurrence of ulcerative colitis in the 71,000 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study. The NHS I started in 1976, giving researchers almost 40 years of data from which to draw and with a 90% follow-up rate.
Drawing conclusions in sleep studies can be difficult because of the numerous other factors affecting our health, like smoking and diet. With such a large pool of participants and great cooperation, the NHS has led to numerous breakthroughs in our understanding of sleep and how to practice good sleep hygiene.
According to Ananthakrishnan, though, “Our findings indicate that ulcerative colitis may potentially be added to this list.”
After examining all the data, researchers found that sleeping less than 6 hours per night or sleeping more than 9 hours per night lead to an increased risk of ulcerative colitis.
It’s important to note that one more time: researchers found it was just as bad to oversleep as it was to undersleep.
Ulcerative colitis currently has no cure, though it can be treated and can go into remission. Doing your best to avoid open sores in your organs is kind of a no-brainer. Getting all the quality sleep you need will benefit you in more than just this one way, though.
Sleep is a powerful force in our overall health; it helps repair and rejuvenate the body, but also keeps the body healthy in the long-term by maintaining our immune system. This aspect of rest is part of how sleep helps prevent diseases.
Taking all this into consideration, it’s easy to see why Sleep is an equally important part of the Olumia Life system as Nutrition and Fitness. You can learn more about how Olumia Life improves your rest habits in Dr. Steve’s book, Reprogram Your Life: Bioscience for a Healthier You as well as numerous articles on this site.
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