Thursday, 15 May 2008

Could lack of sleep increase risk of heart problems?

It's just a thought. I have an inkling that lack of sleep could be a factor in these illnesses and I think I can pull together some of the things I've learnt to make a case for it. Let's see how I go.

It's well documented and understood that we need to sleep to allow our bodies to repair. For example there's a huge release of human growth hormone during sleep. This is a natural steroid that promotes an environment that supports cell repair.

The general explanation for the cause of heart problems is build up of fatty plaques called atheroma in heart tissues, along with a reduced elasticity of heart muscle.

the accepted reason for this is a high fat diet means lots of fat gets caught in breaks in the walls of the blood vessels. Well that's fine there's mounting evidence that it's safer to be big and fit than thin and unfit in the heart disease stakes. Ok well exercise is a common thing to be measured but sleep isn't so common or atleast I feel it isn't as fashionable in our society.

the question for me is why don't the blood vessel walls just heal themselves in the first place. If they did then the crisis would be averted. this is where I think decent sleep would help. I don't think it would be the be all and end all but I think it could help a lot. If you don't sleep well you're body doesn't finsih of it's repairs for the day and has to leave it to the next day. This can build up for a few days but as long as you can up with your sleep the repairs catch up too.

Problem is that your body just tries to letyou go about your day and if you consistently lack sleep you'll adjust, your mind won't necessarily tell you that you're deprived of sleep because it assumes you've got more important things to do. If I'm correct then this could over time mean that you're just suffering from a serious form of not doing repairs. After a while though it's too late. The clots will have formed sufficiently and can no longer be removed by simple healing. Maybe they then grow over time. Maybe the body has mechanisms we don't know about yet that can clear up the clots. Soudns stupid. Well it doesn't when considering that an obese person at the age of 20 with a high risk of heart problems in the future can bring their risk back to normal by losing the weight and becoming active so that by the time they're 40 they have the same rtisk as anyone else of heart problems.

i say this because I feel it might give people hope and that it's what I can taking from the research and stories that I read
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