Sleep Deprivation Linked to Heart Conditions in Women

A recent study from the University of California, San Francisco, found that poor sleep can aggravate heart problems in women, by increasing inflammation levels.

Photo Credit: Meredith.com via Google Images

Photo Credit: Meredith.com via Google Images

Subjects included 700 men and women in their 60s with coronary heart disease. Participants were asked to rate their sleep quality at the beginning and end of the five year study.

Reports showed the women who claimed they weren’t getting enough sleep also showed increased inflammation levels nearly three times more than those who reported sound sleep. This was not the same for men.

These findings lead researchers to believe that, because these women were postmenopausal, lower estrogen levels could be the link between to the two. Lead author Aric Prather, clinical health psychologist and assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, and his team explained that it is possible that testosterone “served to buffer the effects of poor subjective sleep quality.”

For more on the study, visit HNGN.com.

Lack of sleep linked to prostate cancer

A recent study from Icelandic and American researchers found a link between men who have difficulty sleeping and an increased risk of prostate cancer.

A recent article on NBCNews.com discussed the findings of the study. The study notes “an association does not mean that disturbed sleep causes the cancer, only that the two appear linked.”

The study looked at the connection between disturbed sleep and prostate cancer. What they found was a link between not only an increased incidence, but also the severity.

For more on this study, visit NBCNews.com.

Sleep Loss: One Hour a Night Could Lead to Health Risks

According to a recent Daily Herald article, as little as one hour a night of sleep loss can lead to unpleasant side effects.

The article shared information from the March issue of Experience Life magazine. The magazine mentions the following side effects:

  • Floppy eyelids
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Headaches
  • Impaired alertness
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased levels of stress
  • Muscle weakness
  • Weight gain
  • Loss of hair, hearing and vision

When we don’t get enough sleep, our immune systems become over worked, leading to inflammation in the arteries which can cause “genetic switches” to be turned on. This puts you at a higher risk for thinks like diabetes, heart disease and neuronal loss.

An example shared in Experience Life: if someone is genetically predisposed to develop Alzheimer’s disease around 70, sleep disruption can cause the disease to develop much earlier.

To access the full article and more information on how lack of sleep can also lead to neck pains, visit DailyHerald.com.

Lack of Sleep Linked to Suicide Risk

A recent study from Georgia Regents University found when people lose hope that they won’t get another good night’s sleep, their risk of suicide increases.

“It turns out insomnia can lead to a very specific type of hopelessness and hopelessness by itself is a powerful predictor of suicide,” said Dr. W. Vaughn McCall, chair of the Medical College of Georgia Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Georgia Regents University. “It’s fascinating because what it tells you is we have discovered a new predictor for suicidal thinking.”

These findings are even truer in larger studies. It brings attention to suicide risk and looks at prevention that targets negative thoughts with medication and therapy.

For more on the study, visit the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Disrupted sleep linked to dementia

Sleep experts estimate 40 percent of adults over 75 suffer from sleep problems. To add to the issue, researchers have discovered a link between a lack of sleep and cognitive decline.

Kristine Yaffe, psychiatrist at the University of California, San Francisco, runs a memory disorder clinic that studies people at risk of developing dementia and cognitive impairment. In a recent study she evaluated more than 1,300 adults who are older than 75. She observed their sleep patterns and found that those with breathing related sleep disorders, such as apnea, had more than twice the odds of developing dementia later in life.

To learn more, visit the article on NPR.org.

Study links “Social Jet Lag” to Obesity

The thought of sleeping in on a weekend excites most people, but in reality, sleeping in is often a rare occurrence. Yet, if a person wakes up at 6 a.m. Monday through Friday and sleeps until 10:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday on a regular basis, the body’s internal (circadian) clock can be altered, upsetting the internal rhythm of the body, which helps you sleep soundly.

A recent study featured in Current Biology links “social jet lag”— what happens when your body is up later than normal, creating a sluggish feel the next day— to  unhealthy food choices and metabolism decrease over time.  A combination of a poor diet and slower metabolism can lead to weight gain and, over time, obesity. To learn more about the study and our body’s internal clocks, check out this video.

Lack of Sleep Linked to Diabetes and Obesity

A new study, published in the April issue of Science Translational Medicine, discovered that restricting sleep can disrupt the body’s circadian rhythm (internal clock). This was found to decrease metabolism among participants and caused a spike in blood glucose after eating. The spike is a sign that the pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin.

Researchers concluded that these effects can add an extra 10 pounds of weight each year, which in turn, leads to increased risk for diabetes. Study author Dr. Orfeu M. Buxton, a neuroscientist and sleep researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, told WebMD, that most Americans who work later hours are setting themselves up for health problems.

“The modern condition of excess work, excess pressure, no sleep — all this disruption — we can’t adapt well to it metabolically,” Buxton told WebMD. “This is a maladaptive response to modern life.”

For more information on this study, visit CBSNews.com for the full article.