Apart from making you feel less alert, more irritable and perhaps even unable to function properly, being sleep deprived can have some lasting drawbacks to your health and your well being - especially as you age.
Keeping your body clock on track
Researchers have now found that a good night’s sleep could be the way to avoid back pain as you grow older.
This is because they have discovered that those discs in our spines actually have a twenty four hour body clock.
According to the research, a good night’s sleep free from insomnia
could help to protect our natural body clocks, thereby avoiding disc problems and back pain as we grow older. In the same way, avoiding
working night shifts where our body clocks have to keep changing could mean a safer lifestyle especially as we age.
Our bodies shrink by up to an inch during the day
Researchers have been aware for some years that because of cycles of activity and rest each day, we can be taller in the mornings by an inch or so than when we retire at night.
Dr Qing-Jun Meng who led a study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases
found that system of height growth and shrinkage during the twenty four hour period is regulated by our internal body clocks - and problems with our backs can arise with aging or if we work night shifts.
The researchers also found that inflammation
disrupts the body clock in living disc tissue.
Dr Meng says: “Looking after your body clock will help manage or delay the onset of your back pain. Based on our findings, we hope that one day we may be able to combine non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with clock targeting compounds to provide a more powerful solution
Obviously if we can avoid such problems in the first place, it is so much more satisfactory than having to resort to drugs to resolve them.
And of course a big part of the solution is to ensure a good night’s sleep as frequently as you can.