According to who, nearly a third of all deaths in the world (31%) in cardiovascular disease. Among the main causes contributing to their appearance — unhealthy diet, Smoking, sedentary lifestyle — is now specified and poor sleep. It turned out that the latter factor was the least studied.

Scientists at Harvard University decided to address this gap. In the study they have identified the chemical chain reaction, which explains the impact of sleep deprivation on the occurrence of cardiovascular and other diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, depression and increased chronic pain.

The researchers focused on one aspect of the “killer №1 in the world” — atherosclerosis. Its characteristic signs – seal of the vessel walls and accumulation in them of fatty plaques. The situation is exacerbated when the immune system starts to produce white blood cells that once in the plaque, making them even more. In the result, the formation of blood clots – the main cause of heart attacks and strokes.

To establish the relationship between atherosclerosis and the sleep disorders, the scientists conducted a series of experiments with mice that were given GMO food with high fat content, with part of the mice deliberately deprived of sleep. In consequence of their vessels was discovered the larger plaque. According to scientists, lack of sleep, apparently, reduces levels of the protein hypocretin, produced in the hypothalamus — the part of the brain responsible for regulating sleep. When mice were administered additional doses of hypocretin — level of their sclerosis of the arteries is markedly reduced.

Source — Harvard