December 7, 2016:Â There is a reason we say â€œEarly to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wiseâ€. Â Even a dayâ€™s disturbed sleep can put your heart at risk and is enough to cause strain, a new study has shown.
Emergency medical services and people who work in call centres, and other high-stress jobs are often at risk because they are called upon to work at odd hours with little time for sleep. We all know that extreme fatigue can affect the physical, cognitive and emotional process. This recent study is the first study to examine how working a twenty-four shift can actually affect the heart function.
“For the first time, we have shown that short-term sleep deprivation in the context of 24-hour shifts can lead to a significant increase in cardiac contractility, blood pressure and heart rate,” said study author Dr Daniel Kuetting, of the University of Bonn in Bonn, Germany.
The researchers measured the strain on the heart as well as blood pressure and heart rate. “The study was designed to investigate real-life work-related sleep deprivation,” added Dr Kuetting. â€œAs people continue to work longer hours or work at more than one job to make ends meet, it is critical to investigate the detrimental effects of too much work and not enough sleep.â€ In the past lack of sleep has been linked with factors such as disrupted metabolism and raised levels ofâ€™ cortisol, all of which may lead to higher blood pressure and increased stroke risk.
But sleeping too much has also been linked with ill-health, and an increased risk of early death. Studies have found that sleep makes it easier to retrieve nuggets of information that may have got lost in a corner of our brain.
In two situations where subjects forgot information over the course of 12 hours of being awake, after a night’s sleep they were about twice as likely to be able to remember it, the University of Exeter study found.