Consequences of lack of sleep on the health of people with bronchitis

The study carried out by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) analyzed the sleep patterns of 1,647 people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – such as bronchitis – to see what effect sleep deprivation has on lung health.

The researchers concluded that “A lack of sleep can weaken the immune system of healthy people and make them more prone to colds and flu.” This, together with a diagnosis of COPD, increases the probability of suffering respiratory failure by 95%.

In addition, the study also showed that people of African descent are more likely to suffer from conditions and problems in the quality of sleep and, therefore, are more affected by lung diseases or COPD. In previous studies, this relationship between both variables had only been assumed.

Aaron Baugh, researcher and doctor in charge of the study, assured that these results will increase academic and medical research on the effects and consequences of sleep quality in other lung conditions. “This study adds to the growing body of knowledge demonstrating the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation on general health.”

In fact, according to the World Association for Sleep Medicine (WASM): “Sleep problems constitute a global epidemic that threatens the health and quality of life of more than 45% of the world’s population. Not having a good sleep cycle has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease, mental illness and autoimmune system problems.

Additionally, the executive director and co-founder of the Royal Society of Public Health (RSHP) Shirley Cramer explained in an interview for the BBC that poor sleep implies a poor diet, a decrease in mental health, increases the risk of accidents, decreases physical performance and affects the ability to pay attention and learn.

Taking into account the above, when you sleep well, you increase your physical health. Sleep is the time of recovery of the body and mind and after a good night’s rest, decision making is better, people feel more alert and able to face whatever the day brings.

A good rest, according to the World Sleep Societyhas three elements: duration, continuity and depth. These factors vary depending on external variables that can be controlled, such as the place of rest, and physical factors that may not be controlled, such as medical conditions and other physical health factors.

To improve the quality of rest, the Mayo Clinic recommends the following steps that can be implemented in the daily routine.

  • Control and regulate thoughts with meditation exercises.
  • Establish a regular time to wake up and go to bed that ensures at least 7 hours of sleep.
  • Do not perform exercise or physical activity just before going to sleep as this activates the muscles and some metabolic processes that do not allow a good rest.
  • Create a relaxed environment that is cool, dark, and quiet. For this it is necessary to block any sources of light or sounds that can interrupt sleep.
  • Avoid smoking or consuming caffeine, alcohol and heavy foods before bed. These can have stimulating effects or can cause discomfort throughout the night.
  • Limit naps during the day or try to keep naps to no more than 30 minutes.