Catch-up Sleep Lowers Hyperuricemia Risk in Postmenopause

Sufficient sleep decreases the risk of hyperuricemia, but postmenopausal women have trouble with it. How can catch-up sleep help?

Maria Zavialova

Sleep deprivation is a prevalent problem during postmenopause, linked to various disorders, including hyperuricemia – an increased level of uric acid in the blood serum. This, in turn, often leads to conditions like gout and other life-threatening states such as heart disease. A recent study delved into whether weekend catch-up sleep could minimize the risk of hyperuricemia in postmenopausal women.

What Is the Danger of hyperuricemia

Hyperuricemia is primarily connected with gout, an arthritic condition known for its excruciating pain, redness, and joint sensitivity. It occurs when an excessive amount of uric acid crystallizes and accumulates in the joints, leading to inflammation and discomfort. Furthermore, hyperuricemia is associated with metabolic syndrome, diabetes, hypertension, and various kidney and cardiovascular ailments.

The prevalence of hyperuricemia rises with age across all segments of the population, with a notable increase observed in women following menopause. Previous studies indicate that this can be attributed to a decline in estrogen levels.

How Sleep Deprivation Affects Health

An effective approach to mitigating the risk of hyperuricemia involves prioritizing sufficient sleep duration. That, unfortunately, becomes more challenging during the postmenopausal phase. Sleep plays a critical role in immune response, cognitive function, productivity, psychological well-being, and resilience against infections for many individuals. Several studies have shown that both inadequate and excessive sleep can contribute to various issues. This includes hyperuricemia, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and even mortality.

Postmenopausal women lead active lives and are often engaged in work. This makes it difficult for them to compensate for nighttime sleep problems by napping during the day. As a potential solution, scientists have hypothesized that catching up on sleep during the weekends could help offset the sleep deficit accumulated throughout the week.

How Weekend Catch-Up Sleep Counteracts Hyperuricemia

This groundbreaking study is the first of its kind to investigate the connection between weekend sleep and hyperuricemia in postmenopausal women. The research involved nearly 1,900 participants from South Korea, who were divided into two groups. The first group had the opportunity to replenish their sleep over the weekends, while the second group did not have that chance.

The results provide compelling evidence that weekend sleep recovery is associated with a reduced prevalence of hyperuricemia in postmenopausal women. However, further research is necessary to establish the causal relationships between sleep restoration and hyperuricemia.

This study shows that weekend catch-up sleep of just 1 to 2 hours was linked with a lower prevalence of hyperuricemia in postmenopausal women with insufficient sleep. Although the mechanisms responsible for these findings remain unclear, a weekend nap may be just what the doctor ordered.

Dr. Stephanie Faubion, The North American Menopause Society medical director

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