Sleep Soundly and Reduce The Risk of Coronary Heart Disease Due to Blood Clotting

Sleep Soundly and Reduce The Risk of Coronary Heart Disease Due to Blood Clottin

Sleep was long considered just a uniform block of time when you are not awake.The duration of sleep each one of us needs varies with age, pattern of activity, nature of work and eating habits. Generally children need more sleep than adults and older people tend to have less sleep than young adults. Sleep problems are generally more common in middle aged persons (50-60 years old), however they can occur at any age.Some people complain of sleep problem despite having had a full night's sleep.

Sleep problems can occur for a number of reasons like having had a difficult and worrisome day, experiencing social or economic difficulties or being anxious and tense for any reason.Currently, scientists divide sleep into two broad types: REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and NREM (non-REM) sleep.In REM, your eyes move around fast, you don’t move your body much, and you dream. REM is light sleep and the stage when your infant or child is most likely to wake up. NREM sleep is deep sleep. In normal sleep, a man cycles between light sleep and deep sleep. Each light sleep stage is a time when he is more likely to wake up.

They are very different from each other, so much so that some scientists consider them 2 of the 3 states of 'being': awake, non-REM sleep and REM sleep.By contrast, non-REM sleep is 'an inactive brain in an active body'. There is relatively little dreaming. Non-REM sleep is in turn further divided into four different stages (1 through 4), with stages 3 and 4 often referred to as "deep sleep." In adults, non-REM sleep occupies around 80 percent of the night, and REM sleep 20 percent. However, REM sleep does not occur in one large block. Actually, we go into REM sleep in cycles of around 90 minutes. That is, REM sleep occurs around once every 90 minutes.

Stages 1 and 2 are periods of light sleep from which a person can easily be awakened. During these stages, eye movements slow down and eventually stop, heart and breathing rates slow down, and body temperature decreases. Stages 3 and 4 are deep sleep stages. It's more difficult to awaken someone during these stages, and when awakened, a person will often feel groggy and disoriented for a few minutes. Stages 3 and 4 are the most refreshing of the sleep stages — it is this type of sleep that we crave when we are very tired.

During REM sleep, the eyeballs move rapidly, the heart rate and breathing become rapid and irregular, and the blood pressure rises. The muscles of the body are virtually paralyzed. The brain is highly active during REM sleep, and the overall brain metabolism may be increased by as much as 20%.Different sleep disorders may occur during different stages of sleep. For example, sleepwalking and night terrors, common problems in children, usually occur in non-REM sleep. There are disorders of REM sleep in which the normal loss of muscle tone is absent. Affected patients may act out violent dreams and harm themselves or others.

According to a study, people who sleep for only short periods — less than six hours a night — increase their average 24-hour blood pressure and heart rate. Over time, this may lead to persistent high blood pressure.

Relatively healthy individuals who experience sleep disruptions at night appear to have an increased risk activity of factors associated with the development of a blood clot, also referred to as a thrombus.

"There is an extensive literature demonstrating that sleep disruption is associated with increased coronary artery disease risk, but the possible mechanism for that association has been unclear," lead author Dr. Joel E. Dimsdale, of the University of California San Diego, told Reuters Health.

"In previous work, we have found that sleep disruption was associated with pro-coagulant activity in patients with obstructive sleep apnea and in patients facing major life stress," he continued. "The current study reports similar findings even in a relatively healthy population."

Dimsdale and colleagues examined whether sleep disruptions, verified by polysomnography, were associated with increased levels of prothrombotic factors previously shown to predict the risk of coronary artery disease. The findings are published in the medical journal Chest.

A polysomnograph, conducted in a sleep laboratory, involves the measurement of brain waves to record sleep cycles and stages, plus monitoring muscle activity, eye movement, breathing rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen levels and heart rate. The patient is also directly observed during sleep.

A total of 135 unmedicated subjects, an average of 37 years old, without a history of sleep disorders underwent full-night polysomnography. The researchers also recorded blood levels of factors associated with blood clotting and oxygen saturation. In their analyses, they accounted for the effects of age, gender, ethnicity, body mass index, blood pressure, and smoking history.

The investigators found that a higher score on total arousal index and longer periods of wakefulness interrupting sleep were associated with higher levels of the von Willebrand Factor antigen and soluble tissue factor antigen, respectively, both of which are linked with blood coagulation.

An association was also observed between average oxygen saturation levels of less than 90 percent and the plasminogen activator inhibitor antigen, also involved in coagulation, although this relationship was not statistically significant.

"Our findings suggest that sleep disruptions, even in a relatively healthy population, are associated with a prothrombotic state that might contribute to coronary artery disease," the authors conclude.

In western countries, sleep problems are a more and more common problem owing to lifestyle and environmental factors. Sleep disturbance is one of the most serious effects of environmental noise.Children are more vulnerable to environmental risks than adults because they have often less control over their environment and behave differently than adults.

Individuals vary in their need for sleep. Some people require nine or more hours of sleep per night, while others may not feel deprived after just five hours of sleep. But the average adult requires seven to eight hours of sleep per night. No matter how much sleep you need, if you don't get enough, you will suffer the effects of sleep deprivation.

Besides problems of mental health, a variety of reasons can lead to development of sleep problems, for example, spending the night at an unfamiliar place, using stimulants like coffee, tea, chocolate in the late afternoon or evening, or drugs containing stimulants, which arouse a person. In addition to these, any painful condition or chronic illness can lead to sleep problems and once it happens, it can become a sort of "habit" which might be difficult to break.


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