According to Medical News Today, a study found that sleep deprivation leads to changes in genes that are responsible for regulating cholesterol levels.
What is more, two population cohorts reveal that people who experience sleep deprivation may have fewer high-density lipoproteins (HDL) — known as the “good” cholesterol — than those who have sufficient sleep.
HDL cholesterol is responsible for removing low-density lipoproteins (LDL) – the “bad” cholesterol – from the arteries.
LDL cholesterol contributes to atherosclerosis – a build-up of plaque in the arteries that can increase the risk for heart attack and stroke – so a robust HDL cholesterol level is important for protecting heart health.
The team reached its findings by conducting experimental and epidemiological analyses.
For the experimental analysis, the researchers enrolled 21 participants who were required to sleep in a laboratory-controlled condition for 5 nights
The sleep duration for 14 of these participants was restricted to just 4 hours a night, while the remaining seven participants enjoyed sufficient sleep each night.