Sleep Dysfunction and Gastrointestinal Diseases

Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2015 Dec;11(12):817-25.


Sleep deprivation and impaired sleep quality have been associated with poor health outcomes. Many patients experience sleep disturbances, which can increase the risk of medical conditions such as hypertension, obesity, stroke, and heart disease as well as increase overall mortality. Recent studies have suggested that there is a strong association between sleep disturbances and gastrointestinal diseases. Proinflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor, interleukin-1, and interleukin-6, have been associated with sleep dysfunction. Alterations in these cytokines have been seen in certain gastrointestinal diseases, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, inflammatory bowel disease, liver disorders, and colorectal cancer. It is important for gastroenterologists to be aware of the relationship between sleep disorders and gastrointestinal illnesses to ensure good care for patients. This article reviews the current research on the interplay between sleep disorders, immune function, and gastrointestinal diseases.

Keywords: Sleep; circadian rhythm; cytokine; gastrointestinal disorders; immune system; irritable bowel syndrome.