How does sleep affect cardiovascular diseases?

About one-third of one's lifespan is spent on sleep. When we sleep, our brain and body can get rest, recuperation and recovery. However, when our sleep is not enough or we suffer from sleep disorders, various diseases will attack us, such as cardiovascular diseases. 

Recently, researchers at the national heart, lung and blood institute (NHLBI) have published a study in Nature by which they uncovered the mystery that sleep at night is how to affect cardiovascular diseases. In the study, they found a mechanism that previously unknown between the brain, bone marrow and blood vessels, which seems to prevent the development of atherosclerosis or atherosclerosis, but this condition only occurs in healthy and enough sleep. 

The researchers pointed out that the identified pathway emphasizes that having enough and good sleep is beneficial to keep our heart and blood vessels healthy and can offer a new target for preventing heart condition. 

According to the reported data, there is a gradually increased rate of people who are killed by heart diseases. Heart disease is well-known as the world's leading cause of death. Therefore, the findings will be a boon for patients with heart disease.

In order to have a deep understanding of the absence from sleep and cardiovascular diseases, the researchers conducted a series of experiments on the mice that developed atherosclerosis by genetic engineering. One half of these mice' sleep mode was disturbed, another half got normal and enough sleep. 

As time went, the research team found that mice with disturbed sleep are getting more and more arterial lesions than other mice. Specifically, mice with sleep disruption developed arterial plaque or fat deposition, which is one-third larger than the mice with normal sleep. The level of certain inflammatory cells in the circulatory system of mice with sleep disruption was twice that of control mice, while the level of hypocretin was also lower. Hypocretin, short for HCRT, is a hormone produced by the brain and is thought to play a significant role in regulating sleep and waking states.

The researchers also demonstrated that atherosclerotic mice that received the hypocretin supplement tended to generate fewer inflammatory cells and develop smaller atherosclerotic lesions than mice that did not obtain the supplement. These results suggested that hypocretin loss during sleep disruption led to inflammation and atherosclerosis. But they stressed that more research was needed, particularly in humans, to verify the findings, especially before the hypocretin trial.

Health experts thought the discovery of the new biological mechanism that a so-called neural-immune axis could be a breakthrough in new treatments that could one day lead to heart disease, sleep, and other diseases.

Understanding the potential effects of sleep deprivation and circadian health on blood cell formation and vascular disease opens new avenues for developing improved treatments.

Now, knowing the importance of healthy and enough sleep, if you are used to staying up late or you are frequently troubled by sleep disorders, please try to change your lifestyle or see a doctor immediately to keep good sleep.

Cite this article

CUSABIO team. How does sleep affect cardiovascular diseases?.


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