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Sleep and health – new information

Glaucoma, cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes – these may be the effects of a regular lack of quality sleep, according to the latest research. The psyche also suffers – the risk of anxiety or depression may increase. Poor conditions in the bedroom can be harmful, even when a person sleeps as much as necessary.

About sleep and its effect health Much has already been written. However, this is such an important area of ​​\u200b\u200bhuman existence that scientists continue to study it, and sleep, unfortunately, is often treated as a “whipped boy” and the first to suffer if someone lacks time. This could be wrong, and seriously wrong at that, as research continues to point to a variety of issues that can arise when someone suffers from a lack of sleep on a regular basis.

sleep and vision

For example, researchers at Huimin Hospital in Beijing have just reported that sleep problems—too little or too much sleep, daytime sleepiness and snoring—may be linked to the risk of developing glaucoma—one of the leading causes of vision loss and according to the current report. It is estimated that by 2040 it will affect more than 100 million people worldwide.

Researchers discovered the sleep-related increase in glaucoma risk after analyzing data on nearly 500,000 people. Participants of the well-known scientific project UK Biobank. It included a variety of information about health and the factors that can affect it, and the subjects included in the analysis were between the ages of 40 and 60. Participants were followed for an average of 10 years, during which time nearly 9,000 new posts appeared. disease, especially in the elderly. Lack of sleep was associated with an 8 percent increase. high risk, Insomnia – by 12 percent, snoring – by 4 percent, frequent daytime sleepiness – by 20 percent.

The study did not specify what cause and effect is, so there is a possibility that it could develop glaucoma restless sleep However, there are also biological mechanisms by which sleep disorders can lead to glaucoma. Certainly, in either case, it is worth taking care of both eyes and in order to be able to sleep properly.

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Sleeping behavior can be affected. These findings highlight the need for appropriate sleep-related interventions in people at risk of developing glaucoma. The study authors said that examining the eyes in people with chronic sleep disorders may also be warranted, which could help them avoid glaucoma.

chronic diseases

Meanwhile, diseases associated with sleep can be different, including those that are considered the main afflictions of civilization. Also recently, a group of specialists from University College London reported relevant results of a study of 7,000 people. People between 50, 60 and 70 years old.

showed that less than 5 hours of sleep per night in middle age may be associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetic. People who typically slept less than 5 hours at age 50 were 20% 40% more likely to have a chronic condition over 25 years – having at least two chronic diseases than those who slept at least 7 hours. 25 percent increased risk of death.

– Rates of multiple diseases are increasing in rich countries and more than half of the elderly now suffer from at least two chronic diseases. This is a serious public health challenge, because the coexistence of many diseases means high costs of treatment and hospitalization and can lead to disability, stresses Dr. Severine Sabia, author of this discovery.

She and her colleagues also tested the effects of too much sleep — from nine hours per night onwards. They found no association with the development of chronic disease in previously healthy people, but if someone already had a chronic disease, 35 percent of them slept too much. emergence of another disease. The researchers speculate that, in this case, both the prolonged sleep and the second illness stem from pre-existing health issues.

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Anxiety and depression

Without a good sleep, it is difficult to talk about a good mental state. It brought some new information about it pandemic. Experts from Brigham and Women’s Hospital note that during this time, the mental state of American adults has deteriorated significantly. Increased, among other things, worsening of anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.

According to the researchers, this may be the result of disturbed sleep. People who sleep less than 6 hours a night, and who lack a set and strictly monitored bedtime, have been shown to be more prone to these problems.

“Our study supports the importance of sleep for mental health, particularly in relation to stressful events,” says Mark Chesler, one of the researchers. “The effort you put in to get a good night’s sleep can pay off in these difficult times,” he adds.

At the same time, sleep disturbances are a common symptom of a whole range of mental problems – from depression to schizophrenia.

Light harms sleep quality

It turns out that even if a person sleeps as much as he should and when he should, he can have problems if there are no suitable conditions, for example darkness. This summer, a team from Northwestern University reported that exposure to light during sleep is clearly associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. This score was held after the same sleep criteria were considered, indicating a connection to light. It doesn’t have to be strong.

– It can be a smartphone, a TV or light pollution in a big city – we live in a variety of artificial light sources that work 24 hours a day – notes the prof. Mingi Kim, author of Discovery.

The researchers studied the health status – with the help of a wrist sensor – of light exposure of people between the ages of 63 and 84. This age is associated with an increased risk of developing these diseases. The researchers said they were surprised that less than half of the 500 volunteers experienced complete darkness for more than five hours a day. The study, due to its nature, also did not reveal cause-and-effect relationships.

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For example, people with poor health can use the bathroom at night, which means turning on the lights. Diabetics can leave the light on to avoid falling if they have to get out of bed if they have problems with their feet. However, the potential for this light to disturb nighttime sleep and contribute to illness must be taken very seriously.

Sleep medicine specialists have long recommended that patients with sleep disorders completely darken the bedroom. If a light must be left on for any reason, keep it as dim as possible, mainly illuminating the floor and affecting the sleeper as little as possible.

Color also matters – red-orange light stimulates the brain less than white or blue. If the windows overlook a well-lit street, it is worth using strongly blackout curtains or blinds. Sometimes, moving the bed can help, too.

Other tips for a good night’s sleep include avoiding strong sensations before going to bed, eating lightly, and sticking to a regular bedtime and wake-up time. If problems occur, do not use alcohol – if it can help you sleep, then the sleep will be of such poor quality that it will be difficult to rest.

So it’s worth taking care of sleep in many aspects, but it’s not that difficult, and it can really pay off.

(Marek Mattachse for

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