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Irregular sleep patterns linked to atherosclerosis
A 2022 study suggests that sleep irregularity—night-to-night variations in sleep duration and timing (when someone falls sleep)—are linked to atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries).
Healthy habits might ward off long COVID
A 2023 study suggests that women who practice many aspects of a healthy lifestyle are about half as likely as women who don't to experience persistent symptoms after a COVID-19 infection.
Should you be tested for sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is common but often unrecognized in people with heart disease. The condition is marked by brief pauses in breathing, often triggering loud snoring, grunts, gasps, and choking noises. These repeated interruptions cause heart rate and blood pressure to rise, putting stress on the heart and circulation. The STOPBANG quiz helps doctors assess the likelihood of sleep apnea, which is more common in people who are older and those who are overweight or obese.
Sleep apnea may lead to weaker bones and teeth
A 2022 study found that people with sleep apnea are more likely to have low bone density. Apnea may trigger low oxygen levels and inflammation that impair the body's continuous bone renewal process.
Are you napping too much?
Napping for more than 30 minutes each day may be associated with increased risks for health problems. Causes of excessive napping include boredom, poor sleep at night, underlying conditions such as anemia or depression, medication side effects, dehydration, or malnutrition. Treating underlying conditions, staying hydrated, eating a healthy diet, becoming more active, and practicing good sleep hygiene may help reduce prolonged nap times.
Should I take afternoon naps?
Taking regular afternoon naps for less than 60 minutes can improve mental alertness and increase productivity.
Short on slumber
Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but more than one-third consistently sleep fewer than seven. Reasons for poor sleep include pregnancy, menopausal night sweats, medication use, sleep disorders, and various illnesses. Sleep deprivation can raise the risks for such conditions as diabetes, certain cancers, obesity, dementia, depression, and heart disease. To promote sounder sleep, people can keep consistent sleep-wake schedules, reduce intake of caffeine and alcohol, and avoid using electronic devices before bed.
The dark side of daylight saving time
The start of daylight saving time in the spring can have a profound impact on people’s well-being. Moving the clock ahead one hour can cause sleep deprivation, affect focus and concentration, and exacerbate existing problems like depression, anxiety, and seasonal affective disorder. People can lessen the effect by taking steps a week prior to the time change, such as adjusting their sleep schedule, getting more light exposure, and cutting back on caffeine and alcohol.
Shift work can harm sleep and health: What helps?
Mounting evidence paints a worrisome picture of the potential health consequences of nontraditional shift work schedules. So how can people who are required to work during the night and sleep during the day protect their health and well-being?
Poor sleep linked to a common cause of blindness
In a large 2022 study, people with unhealthy sleep patterns (those who snored, experienced daytime sleepiness, had insomnia, slept less than seven hours per night, or slept more than nine hours per night) were more likely to develop glaucoma than people with healthy sleep patterns.
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