Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Night moves

Those twitchy legs may have more serious consequences than the loss of a decent night's sleep. Canadian researchers at the Hôpital du Sacre-Cœur in Montreal studied the night moves of 10 patients with restless leg syndrome. They found that periodic leg movements during sleep (PLMSs) were associated with significant spikes in blood pressure of 20-40 points.

Restless sleepers may twitch every 20-40 seconds resulting in a whole lot of blood pressure troubles throughout the night. The scientists noted that persons with sleep apnea may suffer from these same spikey nocturnal elevations. Lead author Dr. Paola Lanfranchi concluded:

If someone has heart failure, and every 20 to 40 seconds they have an increase in blood pressure, it's going to have an impact on the function of the heart.

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