Low-dose aspirin may lower inflammation caused by sleep loss

New Delhi: Low-dose acetylsalicylic acid, also known as aspirin, may reduce inflammation among people suffering from sleep loss, according to a new study on Monday. The findings, to be presented at the ongoing SLEEP 2024 annual meeting in Texas, US, show that preemptive administration of low-dose aspirin during sleep loss reduced pro-inflammatory responses. “Specifically, aspirin reduced interleukin-6 expression and COX-1/COX-2 double-positive cells in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated monocytes, as well as C-reactive protein serum levels,” said researchers from Harvard Medical School. Larissa Engert, from the School’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, said that the study investigated whether the inflammatory consequences of sleep restriction be pharmacologically reduced. “We used a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug because it has been shown to affect specific inflammatory pathways, which were previously shown to be dysregulated by experimental sleep restriction or sleep disturbances,” Engert, a lead author, added. The team collected data from 46 healthy adults in a randomised placebo-controlled crossover trial with three scenarios: sleep restriction/aspirin, sleep restriction/placebo, and control sleep/placebo in both hospital and homestay. According to Engert, the aspirin-induced reduction of inflammatory pathway activity in sleep-restricted participants was paralleled by decreased wake after sleep onset and increased sleep efficiency during recovery sleep. She noted that “the findings show that it is possible to blunt inflammatory pathways activated by sleep restriction through preemptive administration of low-dose aspirin”. The study may help advance new therapeutics “that complement behavioural sleep improvement therapies to better prevent or control inflammation and its consequences in those experiencing periods of sleep deficiency” and importantly, not cause side effects associated with aspirin, such as bleeding and stroke.

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