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Lack of Sleep Linked to Increased Risk of Developing Lupus Among Women

by | Sep 21, 2022

In a new study, researchers found that lack of sleep was associated with increased risk of lupus in women. Sleep is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle – and good sleep habits are especially important for people with lupus. In fact, sleep is key to supporting the immune system as sleep disorders are associated with an increased risk of autoimmune diseases.

Researchers analyzed sleep duration data from 186,072 women from the Nurses’ Health Study, 187 of whom had lupus. Chronic low sleep duration (less than or equal to 5 hours per night versus more than 7 or 8 hours per night) was associated with increased risk of lupus. The risk was nearly three times as high for those who also experienced high levels of bodily pain and depression, compared to women with adequate sleep duration and little to no bodily pain or depression.

May Choi, MD, FRCPC, a Lupus Foundation of America Gary S. Gilkeson Career Development Awardee was lead investigator on the study.

Sleep loss may have immediate and long-lasting effects on the processes that drive immune activity or dysfunction which predisposes people to autoimmune diseases. However, further research is needed to understand the relationship between sleep and lupus. Learn more on how to sleep better when you have lupus.

Read the study

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