Prioritizing other commitments over your required dose of slumber, thinking you can catch up on sleep later? Think again. Sleep-deprivation is a long term condition of not having enough sleep, which in acute levels can further lead to various health hazards. Health issues may include high-stress levels, decreased metabolism, heart and kidney issues and a lack of general well-being. Medical experts have time and again the importance of an eight hour sleep, but the appeal seems to be falling on deaf ears, as a significant lot of the present generation is battling with sleep deprivation. And if the findings of a new study is to be believed, this deprivation could even cost them their lives!
The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, reveals that, failing to sleep for less than six hours may nearly double the risk of death in people with metabolic syndrome - a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.
The study further revealed that people with metabolic syndrome who slept for more than six hours were about 1.49 times more likely to die of stroke. In contrast, those not able to get six hours of sleep were about 2.1 times more likely to die of heart disease or stroke.
The short sleepers with metabolic syndrome were also 1.99 times more likely to die from any cause compared to those without metabolic syndrome.
The Lead author Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania said, "If you have several heart disease risk factors, taking care of your sleep and consulting with a clinician if you have insufficient sleep is important if you want to lower your risk of death from heart disease or stroke,"
As part of the study, researchers selected 1,344 adults (average age 49 years, 42 per cent male) who were made to spend one night in a sleep laboratory. On basis of the results the team concluded, that 39.2 per cent of the participants had at least three of the risk factors - body mass index (BMI) higher than 30 and elevated total cholesterol, blood pressure, fasting blood sugar and triglyceride levels. And during an average follow-up of 16.6 years, 22 per cent of the participants died.
On importance of future studies in the area, Fernandez-Mendoza said, "Future clinical trials are needed to determine whether lengthening sleep, in combination with lowering blood pressure and glucose, improves the prognosis of people with the metabolic syndrome."
Did you know that there are certain foods that we can eat to improve our blood circulation and prevent many heart diseases? Yes, that's right! There are many blood thinning foods that are known to reduce the risk of clotting. But, before we talk about the variety of natural blood thinning foods, it is imperative to understand what blood clotting is and how it affects our body?
Blood clotting is a normal yet complex process which is known to prevent bleeding when there is an injury or a cut in our body. However, there are times when blood clots form in some critical parts of our body like heart, lung or brain, which if not treated in time, can cause serious complications. These clots may occur in the arterial or venous blood vessels. It is when this clot breaks and travels through the blood, it disrupts the flow of blood to important organs such as heart, lungs or brain, and can result in stroke.
Here are 5 natural blood thinners to reduce blood clots and the risk of stroke:
One of the best ways to add ginger to your diet is to begin your morning with tasty ginger tea. Research says that sipping ginger tea is quite beneficial and may cure many health problems. And, when it comes to blood thinning, ginger is known to reduce inflammation and further relaxes the muscles. Who knew that a single cup of ginger tea can do wonders for your health.
2. Cayenne Peppers
Cayenne peppers are power-packed with properties that help in thinning our blood. And, the credit goes to salicylates, which are found in high amount in cayenne peppers. Adding cayenne peppers to our daily diet, in the form of capsules or in the food, could lower your blood pressure and increase circulation.
It is said that foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna and trout are one of the best blood thinning foods. It is mainly because omega-3 fatty acids help lower the cholesterol levels in our body. Moreover, they are known to reduce the chances of clotting in the blood.
4. Red Wine
Many experts and nutritionists believe that drinking a glass of red wine every day may help prevent heart diseases, as red wine is known to have properties that help in thinning the blood and further preventing clogged arteries. And, we know how much you fancy drinking red wine, so don't just get carried away and stick to only one glass a day!
We add cinnamon to enhance the taste and fragrance of our dish or drink, especially when added to tea, it tastes bliss. But, did you know that it is a powerful anti-coagulant? Cinnamon is capable of lowering blood pressure and relieving inflammatory conditions. This may reduce the chances of having a stroke. However, long-term consumption of cinnamon may cause liver damage, therefore, make sure you use this spice sparingly.
Other than the natural foods and drinks mentioned above, there are other natural foods like pineapple, ginseng, kelp, olive oil, almonds and more that are known to reduce blood clotting. However, it's important to note that these foods need be taken in moderation. Always speak to your doctor before trying anything that could have an impact on your health.
A heart attack is usually characterised by the rupture of a plaque which can cause the spread of the cholesterol into the blood stream. Cardiovascular diseases are a major cause of pain, suffering and death around the world, today. Heart attacks are caused by coronary heart disease.
This is caused by the narrowing of the coronary artery when substances like cholesterol block it. If not treated and revived on time, a patient suffering from a heart attack can meet a fatal result. So how can you prevent a heart attack?
Cholesterol: We are all affected to some extent by what we eat. It is important to keep a check on your cholesterol, especially if it is on the higher side, so as to prevent a heart attack. Cholesterol is known to directly cause a heart attacks, because if applies layer upon layer to the walls of the artery, and chokes them until they cannot handle the pressure any longer. So watch your food intake and bring down the blood lipid or fat levels with proper diet and exercise to alleviate the risk of a heart attack.
Assess your Risk Factors: So are you at risk of heart disease and possible heart attack? This will very much depend on your medical history and allied ailments. If you are suffering from high cholesterol or even diabetes, your chances of having clogged arteries and a subsequent heart attack may increase manifold. Also, you may have a family history of heart diseases which can increase the risk of such ailments in your case. So, it is wise to assess your risk factors and take measures like regular checkups, medication where required and even other measures like diet and exercise.
Blood Pressure: To prevent a heart attack, you can also keep your blood pressure in check. Constant spikes and dips can lead to a malfunctioning heart which can weaken the heart muscles and lead to a fatal result like a heart attack. Further, high blood pressure can lead to wear and tear of the inner lining of your blood vessels, which makes it that much more difficult for blood flow and circulation. So keep a blood pressure measuring machine or cuff at home, or visit your doctor regularly to keep tabs on your blood pressure.
While these basic measures can help take care of the immediate and most direct causes of heart attacks, you can also avoid passive and active smoking, and indulge in a good diet with plenty of exercise to keep your heart healthy.