Rest on cardiovascular health


Poor sleep quality increases the risk of atherosclerosis (plaque accumulation in the entire body artery), as confirmed by research conducted by researchers at the National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC), published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC).

People who sleep less than six hours at night increase their risk of cardiovascular disease compared to those who sleep between seven and eight hours, this was proven in one study.

"Medicine is entering an interesting phase. So far we have tried to understand cardiovascular disease, but thanks to research like PESA CNIC-Santander, we began to understand health," said Valentin Fuster, general director of the National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC).

Meanwhile, José María Ordovás, lead author of the study and CNIC researcher, stressed that "there are two things we do every day: eating and sleeping. For years we have known the relationship between good nutrition and cardiovascular health; however, we do not have a lot of information about the last relationship with dreams ".

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"Cardiovascular disease is a big problem throughout the world. We are currently preventing and treating affected people with various methods, such as drugs, physical activity, and diet. However, the results of this new study emphasize that we must include dreams as & # 39; tool & # 39; to fight them, "said Ordovás.

"This is the first study," he added, "which shows that sleep measured objectively is associated independently with atherosclerosis throughout the body, not just in the heart."

Previous studies have shown that sleep deprivation increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by increasing risk factors for heart disease, such as glucose levels, blood pressure, inflammation and obesity, indicating this study.

"In our study, which included nearly 4,000 participants from the PESA-CNIC-Santander Study, we wanted to evaluate the impact of sleep duration or fragmentation on atherosclerosis. Thus, we have seen that participants who sleep less than six hours a day or have very good sleep quality fragmented and bad have more cholesterol plaques, compared to those who sleep longer or have less fragmented sleep, "and as a conclusion, said Fernando Domínguez, the first author of the article," the duration and quality of sleep is very important for heart health ".

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Important position

Deep sleep includes the appropriate choice of posture. This will ensure not only greater rest, but maintenance of some vital functions naturally. In addition, avoid waking up which interferes with muscle and joint pain.

In general, to reach a healthy position that allows adequate rest is needed to use a mattress or support to maintain physiological curvature and follow the most natural position for that person.

According to Dr. ricafrica López-Illescas, one of these natural positions is to sleep beside you. This improves cervical pain, back pain, reduces snoring, improves breathing, and reduces gastroesophageal reflux, as explained by experts. In this position the pillow must be high, and it is even recommended to put a small pillow between the knees.

The upright position is also suitable for most populations, because it prevents neck and back pain thanks to the fact that the spine is straight, without pressure.

"I recommend a pillow that is not too high on the head and neck, and even put a small pillow under the knee," Dr. López-Illescas. However, keep in mind that this position is contraindicated in sleep apnea.

The position of the mouth down is the least recommended, partly because it causes pressure in the neck and back area and, in general, it is difficult to breathe. In addition, the viscera of the stomach is pressed by weight. "This position is truly contraindicated in newborns," concluded the professional.

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Guidelines for good sleep

According to the World Association of Sleep Medicine (AMMS), the most frequent sleep disorders are insomnia, namely the inability to fall asleep at this time (proximal insomnia) or maintain it when we fall asleep for a while (distal insomnia).

In both cases there was a reduction in the number of effective hours of sleep with an impact that resulted in daytime activity in the form of fatigue, lack of performance and mood swings. Of course, this must be added to the cardiovascular health risks detailed in the CNIC study.
So what should be done? The first warning is not to treat yourself, and as far as possible seek professional advice, depending on the complexity of the case.

If not, you can follow the recommendations given by AMMS to sleep well:

-Find one hour to sleep and wake up.
-If you have a habit of napping, try not to exceed 45 minutes.
-Avoid alcohol consumption four hours before going to bed, and don't smoke.
– Avoid caffeine six hours before going to bed: it is present in coffee, tea, cola and chocolate.
-Do not eat foods that are heavy, spicy or sweet four hours before going to bed. Snacks can be accepted.
-Do exercise regularly, but not before going to bed.
-Use a comfortable bed.
-Keep the room with good ventilation.
-Key all sounds, and remove as much light
– Book a bed to sleep and have sex. Don't use it as an office, workshop or recreation room.


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