Sleep disorder stiffens arteries, cause calcium deposits

May 23, 2020
Alarm clock

DURING lockdown, did you know why health experts encourage people to exercise?

Well, aside from discouraging us from gaining weight, being cooped up at home really cause anxiety and stress. And these two conditions can cause sleep disorder – too much or too little.

Getting too much or too little sleep (or not enough quality rest) is also a factor for stiffened arteries and calcium deposits on the walls of major arteries.

Study lead author Dr. Chan-Won Kim said coronary calcium develops way before heart attack symptoms occur, and a greater amount of calcium in the coronary arteries predicts future development of heart disease. Kim is a clinical associate professor in the Center for Cohort Studies at Kangbuk Samsung Hospital in Seoul, South Korea.

Earlier studies have linked poor sleep to bad heart health, but this research goes a step further by looking for precursors of heart disease in people who appear healthy.

While the study uncovered a link between poor sleep and potential heart problems, it did not prove a cause-and-effect connection.

The study involved more than 47,000 young and middle-aged adults who completed a sleep questionnaire and had advanced tests to measure arterial stiffness and detect early artery lesions caused by calcium deposits.

During sleep, a complex metabolic changes -- hormone releases, body repair and brain refreshment -- takes place. These processes affect blood pressure, blood sugar, inflammation, stress hormones and a host of other factors that can increase risk of heart disease, the cardiologists said.

They advised people to avoid exposure to electronic media at bedtime. People who experience inadequate sleep need to avoid caffeine-containing beverages after lunch.