It’s just a fact of life that we all sleep poorly sometimes. However, a new study indicates that two consecutive nights of bad sleep can put unhealthy stress on your heart.
The study was conducted at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. It’s based on a study of partial sleep deprivation on eight healthy individuals. The results, which were presented in Boston this week, showed that as little as two back-to-back nights of sleep deprivation lead to less healthy function of blood vessels and impaired breathing control.
For the study, the researchers tracked eight healthy adult volunteers, aged 20 to 35 years, whose sleep was restricted to only four hours on each of three consecutive nights. Following the first two nights of restricted sleep, the researchers found a significant reduction in vascular function compared to nights of normal sleep. The results also showed that breathing control was substantially reduced after the volunteers lost sleep.
The good news in all of this is that you can reverse the damage. The researchers later had the study participants sleep 10 hours a night for five nights and found their vascular function and breathing control had improved.
The findings may help explain why sleep deprivation is associated with cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, and obesity.
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