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Times of India
23 February 2011
By Shailvee Sharda
Lucknow, India

Sleep deprivation may lead to impaired glucose tolerance & elevated BP. In other words, it may cause diabetes, hypertension and obesity
Catch Sleep For Healthy Heart
Running to catch up with time may leave you behind in the race of good health. Youngsters, in their bid to cope up with increased working hours, fast life, hectic work schedules and shift working, are cutting down on sleep. Sleep deprivation may even expose healthy individuals to risks of cardiac ailments.

Lack of sleep is fast emerging as a key reason behind growing heart ailments. Recent researches in London show that the risk of such ailments is 48% more in those who do not sleep properly. The scenario could be same for Lucknowites too.

Pulmonary physician Dr BP Singh says ideally a person should sleep for seven hours. But those sleeping for less than four hours or those sleeping for more than 10 hours are bound to suffer from sleep disorders.

"Sleep deprivation could lead to impaired glucose tolerance, reduced insulin sensitivity and elevated blood pressure. In other words, it can lead to diabetes, hypertension and obesity – a precursor to cardiac ailments," he says.

City–based cardiologist Dr Nakul Sinha says combination of sleep deprivation and stress is lethal. "Many patients do not even realise that they are falling in this vault of diseases. Last week I attended to a 28–year–old man who had suffered a massive heart attack. It took a lot of effort in saving his life," said Dr Sinha.

Dr Sinha says 15–20% of patients who come in emergency with heart attack are first–timers who never suspected they could have a heart disease. He, however, clarifies that lack of sleep alone is not a stimulus. "Sleep deprivation upsets a person’s circadian rhythm which reflects on hormonal and functional cycles. This change is dangerous," he warns.

Head, pulmonary medicine department, CSMMU, Prof Rajendra Prasad says the link between sleep deprivation and heart disease is ignored by all.

"In fact, research says poor sleep could also lead to strokes," Prof Prasad pointed out.
Finding a philosophy behind the skewed cycle of ‘sleep’ and ‘wake’ around which humans survive, Dr Prasad said, "we are a sleep sick society. According to a study, humanity today sleeps 20% less than its ancestors a hundred years ago." he said.

Intriguingly, individuals do not realise that a purposeful day is no guarantee to a good night sleep. Contrary to this, a good night sleep is the keeps a person healthy while promising an active and purposeful day.

The reason is, sleep rejuvenates both mind and body by restoring the vital energies and making growth hormones work in peace. So, have a good night sleep.

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