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Many recent studies have discovered a link between the lack of a good night's sleep and increased cardiovascular risk which could lead to heart disease.

Are you used to burning the candle at both ends? In other words, do you often stay up way past your bedtime just to watch television or dvds? Or do you stay up worrying and going over the day’s events? Or can you simply not get to sleep? New research shows that you could be doing yourself much more harm than you think!

Lack Of Sleep Affects Your Mood

Everyone knows what it feels like when you have not had enough sleep.  At some stage or another, we have all had a night where there was simply no time to get any sleep. Whether it is a late night flight, or we have to stay up late to finish a late piece of homework, stay on at an especially great party, or chat to an interesting or troubled friend, something more important happens. And when a new baby comes along, well! Sleep becomes a dim and distant memory for a few months.

Not getting enough shut eye at night leaves us feeling groggy and grumpy and not ready to face the world. Never try to do anything important the next day because the brain just loses that crucial ability to focus on anything and to make judgements.

We feel down and dull and listless.

But now researchers may have discovered just why this occurs.

Sleeplessness Can Impact Your Blood Vessels and Heart

In a huge Norwegian study, scientists followed over fifty thousand people for 11 years. They were asked to fill in questionnaires about their lifestyles and general health at the beginning of the trial and at regular intervals throughout the study.

Surprisingly, it was discovered that people who reported insomnia or even a lack of regular sleep with a disrupted sleep pattern, were three times more likely to suffer from heart disease.

These were a group of completely ordinary people aged between 20 and 89, who had no problems at the start of the study.

This was a very well conducted, prospective study and, although it would be very easy to say that the older people in the cohort would probably have heart disease anyway because of their age, the researchers took everything into consideration, such as age, smoking, and obesity which could affect the result. In addition to this, none of the participants started off with heart disease, so it could very likely be a real finding.

Although they found no actual link between sleep and cardiovascular problems, other scientists have discovered a pattern.

Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Diane Lauderdale found a lack of sleep caused hardening of the arteries. This is when plaques build up in the arteries of the heart and make them less flexible. If the build up of this type of material is too great, it can break away from the artery walls and block the blood vessels further along, causing either a stroke, if it is in the brain, or a heart attack.

 

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