If you don’t get this exact amount of sleep, you could be at risk for this devastating lung disease

There are countless studies exhibiting the immense health benefits of sleep. From improving your mental health and productivity to helping with weight loss. But a new study finds that if you are getting too little or too much sleep you could put yourself at higher risk for developing deadly lung disease.

Researchers from Universities of Manchester and other institutions found that people who habitually sleep more than 11 hours or less than four hours when compared to those who sleep seven hours per night are two to three times more likely to develop a very serious disease, pulmonary fibrosis. But of the too much and too little sleep groups, it was found that the subjects that slept 11 hours were three more likely to develop lung disease.

They also found that people who stay up very late and work night shifts were also at risk for the disease but not as much as the eleven-hour and four-hour sleep groups.

This occurs because our internal clock regulates all the cells in our body including the ones in our lungs, specifically in the alveoli (the tiny air sacs which are responsible for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.) The researchers discovered a core clock protein called REVERBa which can change the production of collagen, a very important protein, in the lungs. REVERBa reduces the collagen in lung slices.

The study is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.