The underlying cause of insomnia has long been a great mystery. Experts generally attribute it to light, stress, hormones and numerous other factors.
However, most often these experts are unable to find any effective solutions.
A new study published in the journal Genes & Development has finally come up with a reliable conclusion behind the cause of insomnia. And along with that, a pretty simple solution that works for most people.
A healthy sleep routine depends on our internal circadian clocks. These mechanisms help our bodies tell time, so they know when to be active and when to be at rest.
But if something happens to our circadian clock, our body and mind get confused about the time of day, which can lead to insomnia.
A new study now proves that inflammation can turn the circadian clocks of mice on and off and could thereby lead to insomnia.
The researchers induced inflammation in mice, either through a high-fat high-carbohydrate diet or by injecting it.
They then noticed that the inflammation triggered an excess of the genetic factor called NF-kappa beta (NFKB).
NFKB then started a biological chain reaction that ultimately led to the tissue destruction that was caused by the inflammation.
Now, it also happens that the NFKB factor controls the processes through which our circadian clocks work; in other words, the processes through which our bodies can tell time.
Therefore, if you have an autoimmune disease, such as arthritis, type-2 diabetes or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and there is a lot of inflammation in your body, you probably do not sleep very well.
Up until now, researchers have believed that it was simply a function of pain, discomfort, and stress. Now we know that insomnia brought about by these diseases is in fact driven by the same factor that causes tissue destruction when there is plenty of inflammation is present.
An article that appeared in the Journal Advances in Nutrition in 2016 also found that people who ate a lot of inflammation-inducing foods, such like sweets and high-trans-fat diets, tended to suffer from insomnia symptoms, such as having difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, and early awakening.
On the other hand, people on the Mediterranean diet, known to be one of the best anti-inflammatory diets around, suffered from the fewest insomnia symptoms.
This new study shows why high-inflammation diets may cause insomnia and how anti-inflammatory diets may help people remain free of it.
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