That insufficient sleep is associated with poor attention and performance deficits is becoming widely recognized. Fewer people are aware that chronic sleep complaints in epidemiologic studies have also been associated with an increase in overall mortality and morbidity. This article summarizes findings of known effects of insufficient sleep on cardiovascular risk factors including blood pressure, glucose metabolism, hormonal regulation, and inflammation with particular emphasis on experimental sleep loss, using models of total and partial sleep deprivation, in healthy individuals who normally sleep in the range of 7 to 8 hours and have no sleep disorders. These studies show that insufficient sleep alters established cardiovascular risk factors in a direction that is known to increase the risk of cardiac morbidity. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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