Category Archives: Sleep Health

Health: American Heart Association Updates Its ‘Optimal Checklist’ (2022)

October 2022 – The American Heart Association (AHA) recently revised its checklist for achieving optimal heart health, introducing its new Life’s Essential 8. The list replaces the AHA’s decade-old Life’s Simple 7.

Sleep health is the new addition to the cardiovascular health scoring tool, which now advises that adults get seven to nine hours per night. The organization updated four of the categories:

  • Diet: More emphasis was given to following heart-healthy diets like the DASH and Mediterranean.
  • Nicotine exposure: Secondhand smoke and vaping were added as risk factors.
  • Blood lipids: People now can get a non-fasting blood sample that measures total, HDL, and non-HDL cholesterol. Non-HDL cholesterol can provide similar risk information as LDL cholesterol.
  • Blood sugar: Measurements now include hemoglobin A1c, a key component to assessing type 2 diabetes risk.
  • Three categories were unchanged:
  • Physical activity: The optimal weekly level is at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity.
  • Body mass index (BMI): A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is ideal for heart health.
  • Blood pressure: Levels less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) remain optimal. Stage 1 hypertension is 130 to 139 mm Hg for systolic pressure (the first number) or 80 to 89 mm Hg for diastolic pressure (the second number).
  • You can calculate your heart health score at mlc.heart.org. The guidelines were published online June 29, 2022, by Circulation.

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Old Age: ‘Hyperexcitable Neurons’ Interrupt Sleep

For many older adults, a good night’s rest is elusive. The implications of chronically poor sleep can be far-reaching and include a decline in cognitive functioning and detrimental effects on health and general well-being. Fortunately, relief may be in sight.

A new study led by investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine shows that neurons in the lateral hypothalamus, a brain region, play a pivotal role in sleep loss in old mice. More specifically, the arousal-promoting hypocretin neurons become hyperexcitable, driving sleep interruptions.

Read the full story: https://stan.md/3JQ7z77

Luis de Lecea, PhD, is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford Medicine. He is the study’s senior author and hopes the finding could pave the way to new drug treatments for age-related sleep problems in humans.

Shi-Bin Li, PhD, is an instructor in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences department at Stanford Medicine. He is also a basic life research scientist in the de Lecea lab, and is the lead author of the study.

Science: How The Lack Of Sleep Makes You Hungrier

Did you know that not getting enough zzz’s can actually make you hungrier? According to sleep scientist Matt Walker, the relationship between what you eat and your sleep is a two-way street. Here’s why understanding it can help you improve your overall health.

Sleep — we spend one-third of our lives doing it, but what exactly do we get out of it? And how can we do it better? In this TED series, sleep scientist Matt Walker uncovers the facts and secrets behind our nightly slumber. (Made possible with the support of Oura) Check out more episodes on TED.com: https://go.ted.com/sleepingwithscience

Health: Consequences Of Too Little Sleep (Harvard)

Sleep Studies: Night Owls Have Higher Obesity Rates & Bigger Bellies (Harvard)

Science Magazine: “Why We Sleep” – October 29

Medicine: Adequate Sleep & Cardiovascular Health

Mayo Clinic Division of Preventive Cardiology will be preparing a series of recordings focusing on Cardiovascular Disease states. This is the Sleep Series and this particular one focuses on what is adequate sleep and does it benefit Cardiovascular Health.

Healthy Lives: Living In Sych With Biological Clocks (Salk Institute)

Satchin Panda is a professor in Salk’s Regulatory Biology Laboratory. He explores the genes, molecules and cells that keep the whole body on the same biological clock, also known as a circadian rhythm. On this episode of Where Cures Begin, Panda talks about what a biological clock is, how living in sync with your clock can improve your health, and how growing up in India informed his research.

Health: ‘Covid-19 And Chronic Sleep Loss’ (Video)

Since the COVID pandemic began, one in three Americans has had reduced quality sleep. Correspondent Susan Spencer pulls back the covers on how pandemic stress is among the factors affecting people’s already-tortured relationship with shuteye. Spencer talks with Drew Ackerman, a lifelong chronic insomniac whose storytelling podcast, “Sleep With Me,” lulls listeners to slumberland; and with professors Sharon Bowman, Jennifer Martin and Tiffany Yip about the importance of sleep hygiene, and the effects of reduced sleep on chronic health impacts and productivity.