In a new study, researchers found that chronic short sleep at night is linked to a higher risk of heart disease and clogged arteries.
These conditions can harm people’s health and increase morbidity and mortality.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of Colorado Boulder.
High-quality sleep at night plays an important role in our health. Good sleep at night can enable the body clock works effectively and help prevent many diseases.
On the other hand, sleep loss may increase risks of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and mental problems.
Previous research has shown that short sleep fragments at night are linked to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
But how short sleep at night influence heart health has not been clear.
In the study, the team tested sedentary, middle-aged people who had no heart disease from the local major metropolitan in Denver and Boulder, Colorado.
The people were asked to complete a questionnaire designed to accurately estimate the average nightly sleep. They also did a blood test after an overnight fast.
The team found that in adults who regularly slept fewer than 7 hours per night, the levels of certain microRNAs were lower.
MicroRNAs are molecules that influence whether or not a gene is expressed.
These molecules are important in maintaining vascular health, and they are recognized as sensitive biomarkers of heart health, inflammation and disease.
The findings suggest that a lowered level of these molecules is linked to heart disease.
The team suggests that the link between insufficient sleep and heart disease may be partly due to changes in microRNAs.
The molecules could be used as a biomarker to determine who is more susceptible to disease.
The team suggests that doctors need to identify patients who might need to change their habits before they develop the disease.
The lead author of the study is Jamie G. Hijmans from Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado Boulder.
The study is published in Experimental Physiology.
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