Wednesday March 20, 2019

Sleep For Less Than 6 Hours Increases Health Risk: Study

The research also showed that people who had short or disrupted sleep were also more likely to have metabolic syndrome.

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Less than 6 hours of sleep linked to hardened arteries Pixabay

Sleeping less than six hours or waking up several times in the night is associated with an increased risk of asymptomatic atherosclerosis, which silently hardens and narrows arteries, warns a study.

“Failure to get enough sleep and restlessness during the night should be considered risk factors for blocking or narrowing of the arteries,” said study author Fernando Dominguez of the Spanish National Centre for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) in Madrid.

The study, presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2018 in Munich, Germany, involved nearly 4,000 healthy middle-aged adults who wore a waist band activity monitor for seven days to record sleep quality and quantity.

They were divided into five groups according to the proportion of fragmented sleep, and four groups designating average hours slept a night – less than six (very short), six to seven (short), seven to eight (the reference), and more than eight (long).

Atherosclerosis, sleep
Atherosclerosis, the narrowing of arteries. Flickr

Atherosclerosis, the narrowing of arteries due to plaque build-up on the artery walls, was assessed in leg and neck arteries using three-dimensional ultrasound.

The average age of participants was 46 years and 63 per cent were men.

The researchers found that those in the highest quintile of fragmented sleep were more likely to have multiple sections of arteries with atherosclerosis compared to those in the lowest quintile.

“Studies are needed to find out if sleeping well and long enough can prevent or reverse this effect on the arteries,” Dominguez said.

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The average age of participants was 46 years and 63 per cent were men.
Pixabay

“In the meantime, it seems sensible to take steps to get a good night’s sleep — such as having a physically active lifestyle and avoiding coffee and fatty foods before bedtime,” Dominguez added.

Also Read: There’s No Healthy Level for Consuming Alcohol, Lancet Study Confirms

The research also showed that people who had short or disrupted sleep were also more likely to have metabolic syndrome, which refers to the combination of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity, and depicts an unhealthy lifestyle. (IANS)

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Amazing Fact! Your Genes Determine Your Quality of Sleep

"Our study suggests that many of the genes important for sleep in animal models may also influence sleep in humans and opens the door to better understanding of the function and regulation of sleep," Dashti added.

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This was comparable to other well-recognised factors that influenced sleep duration. Pixabay

Experiencing problems like insomnia or hypersomnia could be genetic, say researchers who identified 76 new gene regions associated with the time a person sleeps.

It is well known that regularly getting adequate sleep — 7 to 8 hours per night — is important for health, and both insufficient sleep — 6 or fewer hours — and excessive sleep — 9 hours or more — have been linked to significant health problems.

Family studies have suggested that 10 to 40 per cent of variation in sleep duration may be inherited, and previous genetic studies have associated variants in two gene regions with the sleep duration.

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“Our study suggests that many of the genes important for sleep in animal models may also influence sleep in humans and opens the door to better understanding of the function and regulation of sleep,” Dashti added. Pixabay

The study from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, US, analysed genetic data from more than 446,000 participants, who self-reported the amount of sleep they typically received.

The study identified 78 gene regions — including the two previously identified — as associated with sleep duration.

While carrying a single gene variant influenced the average amount of sleep by only a minute, participants carrying the largest number of duration-increasing variants reported an average of 22 more minutes of sleep, compared with those with the fewest.

This was comparable to other well-recognised factors that influenced sleep duration.

 

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Family studies have suggested that 10 to 40 per cent of variation in sleep duration may be inherited, and previous genetic studies have associated variants in two gene regions with the sleep duration. Pixabay

“While we spend about a third of our life asleep, we have little knowledge of the specific genes and pathways that regulate the amount of sleep people get,” said Hassan Saeed Dashti from MGH.

“Our study suggests that many of the genes important for sleep in animal models may also influence sleep in humans and opens the door to better understanding of the function and regulation of sleep,” Dashti added.

The study, published in Nature Communications journal, also found shared genetic links between both short and long sleep duration.

Also Read: SpaceX Crew Dragon Capsule Undocks from International Space Station

It also found factors such as higher levels of body fat, depression symptoms and fewer years of schooling, implying negative effects from both too little and too much sleep.

While short sleep duration was genetically linked with insomnia and smoking, long sleep duration was linked with ailments such as schizophrenia, Type-2 diabetes and coronary artery disease. (IANS)