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Too short, long sleep is risk of incurable lung disease, study

By: Team Ifairer | Posted: 01-01-2020
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Too short, long sleep is risk of incurable lung disease, study
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People who regularly sleep for more than 11 hours or less than four hours are 2-3 times more likely to have the incurable lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis, compared to those that sleep for seven hours in a day, researchers have found. They attribute this association to the body clock. The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also reveals that targeting the body clock reduces fibrosis in vitro, revealing a potential target for this incurable disease that kills about 5,000 people, a year in the UK,the same number as leukaemia.

"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," said study lead author John Blaikley from The University of Manchester in UK.

"More work need to be done around studying the association between pulmonary fibrosis and sleep duration to establish both causation and reproducibility," Blaikley said. "If these results are confirmed, then sleeping for the optimal time may reduce the impact of this devastating disease," he added.

Our internal body clocks regulate nearly every cell in the human body, driving 24-hour cycles in many processes such as sleeping, hormone secretion and metabolism. In the lungs, the clock is mainly located in the main air carrying passages - the airways. However, the team discovered that in people with lung fibrosis, these clock oscillations extend out to the small air spaces, called alveoli.
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