It is not often that people think of a link sleep and cholesterol levels; however, there may be a connection between lipid disorders and sleep disorders. Research seems to be drawing connections that indicate the quantity of sleep you get may affect your lipid levels. Serious health issues like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes may be affected by your sleep because of the changes in these levels.
Connecting the Dots
Researchers may have found a link between the amount of sleep a person gets and their cholesterol levels. When you have your cholesterol checked at the doctor’s office there are two numbers. One is the number for low-density lipoprotein or LDL and the other is for high-density lipoprotein or HDL.
LDL is the cholesterol that is associated with health risks. This is the number that needs to be low. LDL is full of fat that can form plaque on your artery walls causing heart problems. People often refer to LDL as bad cholesterol.
HDL works to absorb extra cholesterol. After delivering what your body needs to function, HDL absorbs the excess so that it does not buildup and produce the plaque associated with heart disease. This is referred to as the good cholesterol
Here’s where the lipid disorders and sleep numbers connect. Studies are showing that when a person does not get enough sleep, less than six hours a night several nights in a row, the lipid levels are negatively affected. Thousands of people were tested, both men and women.
The results showed that the level of triglycerides was raised in women and HDL levels were lowered. LDL levels were also raised. When the women slept more than eight hours similar effects in lipid levels were observed. Men who slept fewer than six hours saw an increase in LDL levels, but HDL and triglycerides did not seem to be affected.
Lifestyle, Lipid Disorders and Sleep Problems
Even though research is drawing connections between high lipid levels and lack of sleep or in some cases too much sleep, other factors may be at play also. The lifestyles of individuals in some of the studies also revealed that subjects who got fewer than six hours of sleep had habits that could put them at risk. These include not exercising, high stress levels, smoking, eating out at least once a day and skipping meals.
The bottom line is that to be healthy a person needs to get an adequate amount of good quality sleep, eat healthy foods, exercise regularly and manage stress levels. Lipid disorders can be resolved when a person commits to healthier living.
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as an advice for any individual case or situation.