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They warn that sleep in less than six hours increases cardiovascular risk – 14.01.2014

Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, do not smoke, moderate intake of alcohol – if you consume – control blood pressure and reduce stress – basic lifestyle recommendations to take care of your heart health, Sleep between seven and eight hours Another habit would be to include, according to a new study, that inadequate night-time rest and poor sleep quality increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Several scientific studies indicate a negative effect on the body of poor sleep hygiene, as it increases the risk of obesity, some types of cancer, deterioration of cognitive function and infections; except for increased anxiety and lack of attention. Spanish researchers have undertaken to assess their impact on the risk of atherosclerosis ("clogging" the arteries by forming plaques)Most often cardiovascular diseases.

The work, published today in the American College of Cardiology magazine, included nearly 4,000 participants in the PESA CNIC-Santander study without known heart disease, whose average age was 46, of which two thirds were men. The goal was to detect the prevalence and rate of progression of subclinical vascular lesions, that is, asymptomaticThey were divided into four groups: those who slept less than six hours (short sleep), six to seven (short), seven to eight (link), and more than eight (long). All volunteers used an actigraf, a small device, to measure sleep characteristics during one week; 3D card scans (carotid and femoral) and computed tomography were performed.

After considering all the traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease and possible factors that interfere (age, gender, physical activity, body mass index, smoking, alcohol consumption, as well as blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose), the results showed that Participants who were sleeping for less than six hours were atypical at least 27% more likely to have atherosclerosis in comparison with those who did from seven to eight.

But a short sleep is not the only factor that can have negative consequences: low quality rest increases the chances of atherosclerosis by 34%, according to work. To assess the quality of sleep, the researchers took into account how fragmented the participants' sleep (how many times they woke up at night) and their movements in bed.

"When we sleep less, our sympathetic nervous system is activated and it causes us to have peaks of hypertension, hyperglycemia, poor control of the lipid profile and all this can contribute to the development of cholesterol plaques in the arteries," according to Clarin Fernando Dominguez Rodríguez, a researcher at the National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) in Spain and the first author of the article, which, however, specifies that the mechanism is not known with certainty so that a short or fragmentary sleep promotes atherosclerosis.

The investigation shows that Sleeping too much does not guarantee benefitsAlthough the number of participants with overnight sleeping for more than eight hours was small, excessive sleep was also associated with an increased risk of blockage or narrowing of the arteries, especially in women.

"Cardiovascular disease is a big global issue," says José Ordovac, a leading research author and researcher at CNIC, led by prestigious cardiologist Valentine Fuster. "At the moment, we are warning and treating the affected people by various methods – drugs, physical activity and diet. However, the results of this new study emphasize this we must include the dream as one more tool to combat them"Highlights, who is also the director of nutrition and genomics at the John Mayer Research and Nutrition Center for Human Rights-USDA at the University of Tufts (USA).

Sleep deprivation is a common occurrence in Western societies. However, Dominguez Rodríguez agrees that the weight of good resting habits in cardiovascular diseases is underestimated. "Just as promoting good nutrition or exercise, you have to do global habits recommendations that include a dream of adequate durability and quality -considera In addition, people who have a good diet and physical exercise usually have a healthier habit of dreams. "

The work of the PESA CNIC-Santander group, the next banking cohort that began in 2010, has shown that a very short or highly fragmented sleep is associated with a greater atherosclerotic load in several vascular areas, including non-coronary ones. Depending on where it is located, atherosclerosis can cause myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accident (CVA) or circulatory failure,

"Additional research is needed to determine if sleep is good and can prevent or change this effect for a long time. Meanwhile, it seems reasonable to take measures to sleep well at night, as lead an active lifestyle and avoid coffee and fatty foods before going to bed"- summing up Dominguez Rodríguez.

Previous studies have already shown how a lack of sleep increases the risk to the heart by increasing glucose, blood pressure, inflammation and obesity. Unlike these works, it is more (based on the number of participants), targeted to healthy people and used to get the actual sleep rates, authors note.

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