Getting less than six hours of sleep per night has long been known to be hazardous to health, but the discovery of the mechanisms behind those hazards is leading scientists to strengthen their warnings. The research shows that too little sleep or poor sleep carries heart and brain risks that are powerful, including higher risks of Alzheimer’s and heart disease, as experts explain.
These experts include Dr. Chris DeSouza, a Professor of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado, and Dr. Ehsan Shokri-Kojori, a Research Fellow at the National Institutes of Health Laboratory of Neuroimaging.
When people chronically have insufficient sleep….you can have some detrimental effects, both cardiovascularly and metabolically. So it’s associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Our lab and others have shown that insufficient sleep will impair how well blood vessels work. It will impair their ability to vasodilate. The blood vessels will want to vasoconstrict more. It impairs the ability to release important clot-busting agents that help to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. From a metabolic standpoint, it increases the risk of being obese. It also increases the risk of diabetes.–Dr. Chris DeSouza, University of Colorado
- Dr. Chris DeSouza, Professor of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado
- Dr. Ehsan Shokri-Kojori, Research Fellow, National Institutes of Health Laboratory of Neuroimaging