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Video: Reduction In REM Sleep Linked To Risk Of Death From Cardiovascular Disease
Reduction in REM sleep linked to risk of death from cardiovascular disease
This is the first study to show that the duration of the rapid eye movement phase is associated with the risk of death. But scientists are not surprised by this discovery.
Dream, Evgeniya Gershoi, 1925-30. Photo: Andrew J. Kurbiko
Reducing the duration of REM sleep is associated with an increased risk of death from heart and vascular diseases. This was shown by a study published in JAMA Neurology.
Rapid eye movement (REM) or REM sleep is a period of sleep, which is accompanied by increased brain activity, at which time people dream. There is a theory that during REM sleep there is a consolidation of experience and information received, memories are formed.
Scientists point out that the relationship between the REM phase and the risk of death was not previously known. Its reduction was associated only with memory and cognitive impairment. However, sleep apnea, which often leads to disturbed REM sleep, has long been known to be a companion to hypertension and cardiovascular mortality.
Scientists analyzed information from about four thousand people who took part in two long-term sleep studies. More than 2.5 thousand people, in particular, were described in the study "Outcome of sleep disorders in older men." Their sleep patterns were monitored from 2003 to 2016, instrumental determination of its characteristics was carried out every four years. The second group of participants was the Wisconsin Sleep Observation Cohort, which scientists have been collecting for 22 years.
In the first group of participants, a 5% reduction in REM sleep was associated with a 13% increase in the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. This result was obtained by scientists after they began to consider other risk factors for death. In the Wisconsin cohort, the results were much the same despite the fact that the participants were younger and of both sexes.
Despite the fact that previously the reduction in the REM phase was not associated with deterioration in somatic health and death, scientists do not consider their findings unexpected. This is because sleep deprivation is generally known as a risk factor for death, and a reduction in REM sleep indicates poor sleep quality.
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