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Not getting enough sleep?

New research has shown that lack of good sleep can play a role in inflammatory diseases, disrupting the immune system by changing the amount of fuel our immune cells use.

“This study also shows that anything which negatively impacts on our body clocks, such as insufficient sleep and not enough daylight, can impact on the ability of our immune system to work effectively,” said Dr Annie Curtis, senior author on the paper.

"Our body clock controls much of our internal processes - the circadian cycle has an effect on everything from alertness through to our digestive system".

Inflammation is a normal and healthy part of our immune systems. When the body gets an injury or infection, blood flow to the area is increased, which provides more blood cells and proteins, and washes away debris.

However, sometimes this system goes wrong and creates inflammation where there is no infection or injury; this is known as an inflammatory disease. This can cause pain and loss of function, such as the swollen joints common in arthritis patients. Other inflammatory diseases include heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer.

Having a healthy diet, exercise and taking in fresh outdoor air can all have a positive effect on your sleep patterns, and will result in overall improvement in your body's performance.

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