How Sleep Deprivation Leads to Cardiovascular Disease
Sleep Deprivation is a condition where an individual do not meet the required hours of sleep most of the time. It is a common problem among teenagers and adults. Although lack of sleep does not lead to a serious health problem right away, but doing it repetitively can lead to physical and health problems gradually. Sleeping is one of the basic needs that our body makes in order to regenerate good health for both mental and physical aspect.
Sleep Deprivation is a common health problem in United States. There is an appropriate sleep duration for each age group. According to National Sleep Foundation, School-Age Children should be having 9-11 hours of sleep, Teenagers 8-10 hours, and Adults for 7-9 hours. People who sleep less than their recommended sleep duration are considered sleep deprived. In addition, there is a survey conducted by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in year 2005-2009 that according to it there an estimated of 50-70 million Americans that are Sleep Deprived. Having sleep deprivation in a long run can result in increased cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, hypertension, and hormonal imbalances.
The effects of sleep deprivation can increase a lot of health risk in the cardiovascular system. Heart rate and blood pressure change during sleep. With lack of sleep, this can put a lot of strain in the heart that make a heart works double time that can cause tachycardia and blood pressure. Researcher Daniela Grimaldi, M.D., Ph.D. noted, “Almost all physiological and behavioral processes, in particular the sleep-wake cycle, follow a circadian rhythm that is regulated by an internal clock located in the brain.” This means that if we do not follow our internal body clock sleep, it can cause dysfunction and serious problem in our cardiovascular system and other parts of the body as well. Lack of sleep can put a lot of stress in the body which can raise the blood pressure and can cause contraction in the blood vessels. The elevation of blood pressure and contraction of the blood vessel can decrease the function of the vagus nerve that has a restorative effect on the function of the heart during resting or sleep state.
Just one night of lack of sleep can result in increased blood pressure. In one large study conducted by Institute of Medicine Committee in Sleep Medicine and Research—that lack of sleep and disordered sleep are also associated with heart attacks and possible stroke. Getting 5 or fewer hours of sleep per night was associated with a 45 percent increase of heart attack (the researcher controlled for age, weight, smoking, and snoring)— (Colten HR and Altevog BM 2006)
During sleep, the primary hormone that works is the melatonin. It is a hormone that is released by the pineal gland that alerts an individual that the body needs to sleep at night this hormone can also be suppressed by light. When an individual is sleeping the bodies blood pressure drops. This reduces the workload of the heart, but when an individual has an inadequate sleep there are several hormones that can interrupt the sleep cycle. The hormones that works or can interrupt the sleep are Adrenaline, Cortisol, and Thyroid hormones. Adrenaline is a strong hormone that can directly affects the blood pressure. When the adrenaline level remained high during the night this causes a big spike in the blood pressure which can cause hypertension. Cortisol also known as “stress hormone” is highest in the morning. Upon waking up, the cortisol level spikes up to prepare the body to deal with the stress that it is going to face. The cortisol hormone levels are very high in the morning and gradually declines throughout the day to prepare the body for the resting state or sleep. But when the body is sleep deprived, the cortisol level is disrupted that it increases in the night instead of the morning and this makes the cycle messed up. This signals the body to do unnecessary stress response that causes negative effect in the body.
Moreover, Sleep Deprivation can affect the Thyroid hormone as well inadequate sleep can increase the production of the thyroid of individuals that is not getting enough rest. Individual with increased thyroid hormone causes increased blood pressure which can lead to hypertension or making the heart do unnecessary workload which can lead to heart attack as well.
There are many ways which can help the body to overcome sleep deprivation, such as going to bed at night and waking up every morning same time. This helps the body to build a sleep-wake pattern. When going to bed, avoid intense activity and as much as possible lessen the use of mobile devices or watching television an hour before going to sleep because the light that coming from the devices may signal the brain that the body needs to wake up. Avoid drinking caffeine before going to bed because the caffeine is a stimulant that can disrupt the sleep. We know that banana has an excellent source of magnesium and potassium which helps the bodies muscle to relax. Furthermore, banana also contains a tryptophan that converts to serotonin and melatonin that has a huge contribution to sleep. Lastly, after a long day of stressful or tiring work that the body and mind goes through having a nice warm bath or shower before going to bed helps the body relax and calm the muscles
In conclusion, Sleep Deprivation is bad to our body it can cause a lot of interference in our daily work such as having a bad mood swings, the brain is not functioning properly, fatigue, irritability, and so much more. This are only short outcomes in an occasional sleep deprivation, but in a long run on having a habitual lack of sleep it can affect our cardiovascular system which causes to hypertension, heart attack, and hormonal imbalances that if left untreated may lead to death. Make sure to have enough sleep daily for productive day and helps regenerate our body to protect our health and well-being.