Sleep regulates a mechanism that can hell to protect arteries from hardening. Sleep is integral to good health and a new study delves into how it keeps our cardiovascular system healthy
Studies has shown the development of atherosclerosis in mice.
Atherosclerosis is the process through which plaques, or fatty deposits, build up inside arteries, causing them to narrow and stiffen. It is a common reason for disease.
The researchers found that sleep-disturbed mice developed larger plaques in their arteries than mice that slept well.
The sleep-disturbed mice also had higher amounts of circulating, inflammatory cells and produced lower amounts of hypocretin, which is a brain hormone that controls wakefulness.
The researchers also saw a reduction in atherosclerosis and inflammatory cells in these mice after they received hypocretin supplementation.
Subject to confirmation in humans, the findings demonstrate that sleep influences cardiovascular health by regulating hypocretin production in the brain.