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Top 5 Aquarium Water Conditioners

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An aquarium is a man-invented way to grow fish differently across the ocean and Lake. Aquarium making has become one of the biggest hobbies of man today. An aquarium can be a small tank or a large building with one or more large tanks. Fishes of different colors and sizes are prepared for sight and curiosity in an Aquarium. New hobbyists who have had problems keeping fish alive for even a few months are always shocked to find out that the normal life span of the typical aquarium fish is measured not in months but in years. Although it varies from species to species, aquarium fish should live anywhere from three to seven years, or longer. Fish can actually live longer, healthier lives, and sometimes even grow larger in an aquarium than they do in the wild.

Aquarium Fish Diseases

Diagnosing and treating aquarium fish diseases is so complex that entire books have been written on the subject. Fish can contract a great many illnesses, and curing them can take a great deal of knowledge and effort. In addition, preventing disease is almost always easier than curing it.

Fish that live in good-quality water, receive a balanced diet, and do not continually suffer from physical stress seldom get sick. Their immune systems are quite capable of protecting them from disease-causing organisms, which are always in the water. When they do get sick, though, it always helps to notice their condition early.

As a general rule, changes in the physical appearance and behavior of the fish are indicators of other problems, so it pays to observe your fish carefully. If any of these characteristics look suspicious, test the water to make sure there are no problems there. As a precaution, clean the filter and change a third of the water in the tank.

When you suspect that any of the fish may be sick, do not add any medications to the tank. You should not treat the tank without knowing what the fish is suffering from. Many fish medications are ineffective or contain so little medication that they do no good at all.

Antibiotics in particular are a problem. If used in small amounts, the bacteria they are supposed to kill can develop resistance to the drugs. When used at much higher doses, the nitrifying bacteria in the biological filter can be wiped out.

Most medications include instructions to change some of the water before each dose. As often as not, it is the water changes, not the medication, that are responsible for the fish getting better.

One common but easily cured disease is ich, which is caused by a parasite, Ichthyophthirius multifillis. This disease is typically brought on by physical stress, such as the fish being handled or the temperature of the water changing rapidly.

The fish’s body and fins will be covered with very small white spots. Fortunately, ich can be cured easily by raising the water temperature to about 84º Fahrenheit and treating it with the proper medication.

Avoid medications with copper in them. Copper can build up in an aquarium and then suddenly be released if the water chemistry changes, killing the fish. Copper is particularly dangerous in tanks with soft water.

Another common disease is fin rot. This disease results in the edges of the fins taking on an uneven appearance as they get shorter and shorter. This disease, which often results from poor environmental conditions, is easily treated with many of the medications available just for this purpose.

One other somewhat common disease is a fungus — typically a fuzzy, white cottony patch. This is a secondary disease, taking hold at the site of a physical injury. If the water quality is poor, the fungus can infiltrate the wound. This problem is also easily cured with proper medication. Ask your dealer for advice.

When it comes to having the aquarium, there are many things that go into the maintenance part. One thing that you can never forget is the maintenance of the aquarium water.

As part of maintaining the water, you have to use a water conditioner for the aquarium. This is because sometimes people even add tap water to the aquarium before treating it.

So what is the best aquarium water conditioner?

5 Best Aquarium Water Conditioner

  1. Seachem Prime Fresh and Saltwater Conditioner.
  2. API Stress Coat Water Conditioner.
  3. API Tap Water Conditioner.
  4. Tetra Aquasafe Plus Water Conditioner/Dechiorinator.
  5. Natural Rapport Aquarium Water Conditioner

Seaschem Prime Fresh And Saltwater Conditioner.

When it comes to a powerful treatment for your aquarium, the Seachem brand doesn’t disappoint. It is a concentrated and complete conditioner. Plus, it works for saltwater and freshwater tanks to remove chloramine and chlorine.

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The product permanently and immediately removes chloramine and chlorine from the water. That way, your biofilter can remove nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia. Plus, everything gets detoxified after a short 48 hours.

Seachem Prime works hard to detoxify the heavy metals, ammonia, and nitrates found in regular tap water. Though they are typical and safe levels, it isn’t appropriate for the fish. Therefore, your tetra, beta, and other fish have a safe environment in which to live.

You can use this in an emergency. Use a 5x dose of the product for nitrite and ammonia in the water. Just use half a dose if water temperatures are more than 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Use one capful of the product for 50 gallons of replacement or new water. Add it to the freshwater first before your fish. If you have high chloramine amounts, consider a double dose.

API Stress Coat Water Conditioner.

For those who want a kit to use, the API brand has you covered. You get the Stress Coat, Stress Zyme, and Tropical Flakes. The two bottles are 16 ounces, while the flakes are 1.1 ounces.

Of course, the goals of the products are to make your tap water safer for fish. It can also protect your fish because of the dual-action formula.

The Stress Coat is designed to remove chloramines and chlorine. Plus, it can detoxify heavy metals. It can also replace the slime coat on your fish.

This product has also been proven to reduce the stress on your fish. It contains Aloe Vera, as well, which has healing properties.

Next, you’ve got Stress Zyme. It eats the sludge in the tank. This helps to keep your decorations and gravel clean.

Of course, it can reduce how much work you have to do to maintain the aquarium. Improving the biofilter is also one of its goals. You can add more beneficial bacteria to your aquarium.

The Tropical Flakes is a portion of fish food. It features the right nutrients. This ensures that your freshwater fish have a balanced and complete diet.

API Tap Water Conditioner

It’s tough to condition your tap water to house fish in an aquarium. The API brand features a conditioning product. This can instantly neutralize chloramines, chlorine, and other chemicals.

Therefore, your tap water is safe for the fish. In a sense, the chemicals in tap water do a lot of damage to your fish. They can cause tissue irritation, gill destruction, and death.

The product is a highly concentrated formula. Therefore, you are not going to need a lot of it each time. It is best to use it when you change or add water.

You should also use this product whenever you add new fish. It can be used in saltwater and freshwater aquariums.

Dosing instructions are to add 1ml for 20 gallons of water. This can detoxify heavy metals and remove chlorine. To get rid of chloramines, you need 5ml per 30 gallons of water.

Along with that, you should feed your fish two times a day. You can use API fish food, which is designed to work with other API products. That way, your fish are healthy and active.

Tetra AquaSafe Plus Water Conditioner/Dechlorinator

If you’re worried about your fish being hurt from tap water, you need the Tetra Aquasafe brand. It is a water conditioner, but it also dechlorinates, as well. You are going to find that it works in just seconds.

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The product neutralizes heavy metals, chloramines, and chlorine that is in tap water. These things can be very harmful to your fish.

It features a slime coat protective barrier. This can protect fish from cuts. However, it is also going to help their wounds heal faster.

You can use this product with marine and freshwater fish. The advanced formula also provides clearer water. This means that you have to do less maintenance on the aquarium to keep it looking its best.

The dosing is quite easy to understand. One teaspoon is going to treat 10 gallons of water. Therefore, you need to know your aquarium size to use it effectively.

Plus, this product contains biopolymers (seaweed extract). This works to develop more beneficial filter bacteria. That way, the water is healthier and reduces pollution because the bacterial bed has been strengthened.

Natural Rapport Aquarium Water Conditioner

Sometimes, you want a professional-grade water conditioner. The Natural Rapport brand is essential. It works for saltwater and freshwater aquariums.

You do not need separate accessories, chemical kits, or supplies to treat slime coats and stress coats. This chlorine remover does everything for you with just one step.

It’s advisable to use treatment during any water changes to help goldfish, betta, and other fish thrive. The product adds electrolytes, balances pH, and adds a slime coat to your fish. Plus, it is safe for saltwater plants, marine invertebrates, and crustaceans.

When you use the product, it works quickly to remove harmful bacteria. These include nitrates, ammonia, chloramine, chlorine, and heavy metals.

It also makes the tap water safe instantly because it detoxifies and removes chemicals from the water. Therefore, it is safe, effective, and recommended for live reefs. The product works for exotic fish and betta, as well as others.

There are 11 active ingredients in this conditioner. It can work with the water to add protective slim coats and electrolytes. However, it also gets rid of all the bad stuff in the water.

What is the Best Aquarium Water Conditioner?

When it comes to picking the best aquarium water conditioner, it is all about having a model that can deliver on performance always. You do not want to pick one with too many additives that do not even deliver on performance.

For the list above, you can always settle for the Seachem prime as it is one of the best of the many available in the industry.

The model will deliver exemplary performance for cleaning the water with ease. The impressive concentrated solution also cuts down the nitrites and nitrates you can find in the aquarium water.

Why use a water conditioner in Aquarium?

The water conditioners come in handy when it comes to treating the tap water so that it is safe for the fish to use.

The conditioners will eliminate the chlorine commonly found in the water found in the tap. The chlorine as a chemical is good for keeping the bacteria and other microorganisms out so that you can use the water for human consumption.

The same level of chlorine chemical that is safe for humans can easily be toxic and kill the fish in the aquarium. You have to use the water conditioner to help with eliminating the chlorine and chloramine that might be in the water.

It is not just about removing the chlorine chemical, the water conditioner is also good for removing the heavy metals in the water. It is common to find such heavy metals in your tap water.

It should also be great when it comes to removing the ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates
in the water. As you can see, you always end up with clean water in the end.

Depending on the water conditioner, it can also help with creating a slime coating important for protecting the fish. In general, you should have a safe environment for aquatic life.

How Does the Aquarium Water Conditioner Work?

It is quite simple if you get to understand the chemistry behind it all.

The conditioner will start by neutralizing the chlorine in the water. This is done through the formation of the ionic bonds and thus it will render the chlorine in the water to harmless components. Once this happens, the water should then be safe for aquatic life.

The same chemical process will happen when it comes to removing other components such as chloramine and heavy metals.

There is no doubt that you now know may be why your fish has been dying all along. You cannot just add tap water to the aquarium and expect the fish to survive.

Now that you know more about the water conditioners, then you should be in a position to have one of the best products for your aquarium today. Each of the models reviewed above will give you the right performance that you deserve when it comes to treating the water. You can pick based on preference.

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Health

Vitamin B3 Protects Skin Cells From The Effects Of UV Exposure, New Research Finds

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We all know just how important eating our vitamins are. Vitamins are essential nutrients that nourish our body and keep vital organs functioning smoothly. While some help with immunity, others regulate the skin and hair.

And turns out a few of them can even keep you safe from cancer. In fact, a recent study found that increasing the consumption of vitamin B3 can protect the skin from the ill-effects of UV rays, potentially reducing the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers.

Researchers in Italy isolated cells (human primary keratinocytes) from the skin of patients with non-melanoma skin cancers. These cells were treated with three different concentrations of nicotinamide (NAM), a form of vitamin B3, for 18, 24, and 48 hours and then exposed to UVB rays.

Vitamin B3 can work wonders when it comes to protecting the skin:

Results show that pre-treatment with 25mM of NAM 24 hours before UV irradiation protected the skin cells from the effects of UV-induced oxidative stress, including DNA damage. Furthermore, it decreased antioxidant expression and blocked local inflammation by showing decreased nitric oxide release and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and reduced iNOS protein expression.

Lara Camillo, a research student from the dermatological unit of AOU universitaria Maggiore della Carita, Novara, Italy says: “Our study indicates that increasing the consumption of vitamin B3, which is readily available in the daily diet, will protect the skin from some of the effects of UV exposure, potentially reducing the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers. However, the protective effect of vitamin B3 is short-acting, so it should be consumed no later than 24 to 48 hours before sun exposure.”

Research presented today at EADV’s 29th Congress, EADV Virtual, shows hope that a form of vitamin B3 could protect skin cells from the effects of ultraviolet (UV) exposure: the main risk factor for non-melanoma skin cancers.

Researchers in Italy isolated cells (human primary keratinocytes) from the skin of patients with non-melanoma skin cancers. These cells were treated with three different concentrations of nicotinamide (NAM), a form of vitamin B3, for 18, 24, and 48 hours and then exposed to UVB.

Results show that pre-treatment with 25μM of NAM 24 hours before UV irradiation protected the skin cells from the effects of UV-induced oxidative stress, including DNA damage. NAM enhanced DNA repair, demonstrated by decreased expression of the DNA repair enzyme OGG1. Furthermore, it decreased antioxidant expression and blocked local inflammation by showing decreased nitric oxide (NO) release and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and reduced iNOS protein expression.

Lara Camillo, a research student from the Dermatological Unit of AOU Maggiore della Carità, Novara, Italy says: “Our study indicates that increasing the consumption of vitamin B3, which is readily available in the daily diet, will protect the skin from some of the effects of UV exposure, potentially reducing the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers. However, the protective effect of vitamin B3 is short-acting, so it should be consumed no later than 24 to 48 hours before sun exposure.”

Non-melanoma skin cancers are the most common malignancies in the Caucasian population and incidence is increasing worldwide. The main risk factor is UV radiation exposure, which damages the DNA, increases ROS production, activates local inflammation, and depletes cellular energy, leading to genomic instability and cell death.

About skin cancer:

There are two main types of skin cancer: non-melanoma skin cancer (which includes basal cell skin cancer, squamous cell skin cancer and other rare types) and melanoma skin cancer. Basal and squamous cell cancers are most often found in areas exposed to the sun, such as the head, neck, and arms, but they also can occur elsewhere (2). They are very common but are usually very treatable (2). Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops when melanocytes (the cells that give the skin its tan or brown colour) start to grow out of control (3). Melanoma is much less common than some other types of skin cancers but is more dangerous because it’s much more likely to spread to other parts of the body if not caught and treated early (3). Non-melanoma skin cancer is the 5th most commonly occurring cancer in men and women, with over 1 million diagnoses worldwide in 2018.4 Melanoma of the skin is the 19th most commonly occurring cancer in men and women, with nearly 300,000 new cases in 2018.

About EADV:

Founded in 1987, EADV is the leading community to further the knowledge of health professionals and advocates in the field of dermatology and venereology. It is a non-profit organization with over 7,000 members, across 113 different countries in the world, providing a valuable service for every type of dermato-venereologists professional. The EADV is committed to improving the quality of patient care, continuing medical education for all dermato-venereologists within Europe and beyond, and advocacy on behalf of the specialty and patients.

About EADV Virtual:

This year’s Congress is a first in EADV’s history. EADV Virtual – New Frontiers in Dermatology and Venereology provides an exceptional opportunity for colleagues from around the world to explore the latest developments in science and patient care that are at the heart of the academy’s mission. The user experience is immersive and simple to follow.

 

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Passion fruit: what are the health and medicinal benefits of passion fruit? What do you know about passion fruit?

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Modern lifestyle diseases, such as obesity and metabolic syndrome (MS), may lead to many complications, including hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and cardiovascular disease. They also accelerate the aging processes. Appropriate dietary interventions may help to regulate glucose and energy metabolism, and thus improve the outcome for affected individuals.

Among the interventions are caloric restriction, which helps reduce insulin resistance by preventing sustained hyperglycemia. This often requires long-term control of dietary choice and portion size, which is difficult to maintain for a majority of overweight subjects. For this reason, functional foods, such as passion fruit are being studied for their potential contribution to reducing weight and insulin resistance.

Metabolic Benefits

One compound in passion fruit, which has garnered plenty of interest is piceatannol, an analog of resveratrol. The latter is a polyphenol, which has been shown to lower glucose levels, and to increase stamina, in several rodent studies.

A clinical study on resveratrol in humans with excessively high body mass index (BMI) confirmed these results, as well as its ability to produce a reduction in blood pressure and higher mitochondrial respiration in muscle tissue, as well as the activation of several muscle kinases. Piceatannol shares many of these benefits, improving metabolic parameters and glucose breakdown, reducing vascular tone, increasing eNOS levels (which is vaso-protective), promoting collagen synthesis, and reducing ultraviolet damage to the skin. In fact, its activity is higher than that of resveratrol.

One study showed that insulin levels in serum were significantly reduced in the fasting state in overweight men with piceatannol supplementation, as well as a fall in the blood pressure and the heart rate. This was not seen in women or in men with a normal BMI. Another study in mice showed inhibition of postprandial rises in blood glucose levels as well, which points to the potential for anti-diabetic activity with piceatannol supplements. Further studies are needed to understand the variation in effect with body composition and gender, as well as to perform more sensitive and long-term evaluations of the changes in glucose and insulin parameters.

Cardiovascular Benefits

The cardiovascular effects of piceatannol seem to be mediated by the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of the polyphenol. It is known that failure of vasorelaxation, which is mediated by eNOS activity, is a characteristic of endothelial dysfunction. This would lead eventually to atherosclerosis via lipid oxidation and inflammation of blood vessels. It also activates dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase, and thus inhibits the natural deactivation of eNOS. Again, it increases eNOS stability, thus prolonging its half-life. It has other mechanisms of vascular anti-inflammatory action as well. Piceatannol thus has profound cardioprotective effects, and a central mechanism of action cannot be ruled out as well. In addition, it may help to stabilize cardiac myocytes.

Each 100g serving of passion fruit supplies about 30g potassium, or a quarter of the daily requirement. This is one of the best things to do to reduce cardiovascular risk. Potassium is a vasodilator, and it is necessary for the operation of the vital ion channels in the cell membranes.

Antioxidant Benefits

Passion fruit also contains many other antioxidants, such as C-glycosyl flavonoids, chlorogenic acid, isovitexin, caffeic acid, quercetin, rutin, and luteolin. These also play a role in glycemic and lipid control, but the exact effects and doses have to be elucidated through further study. A single serving can contain about 30g of vitamin C, and significant amounts of carotene and cryptoxanthin, all of which are powerful antioxidant molecules lowering the risk of age-related degeneration, cancers, and cardiovascular disease. Vitamin C also stimulates collagen synthesis and improves epithelial health, as well as being an immunomodulator to boost innate immunity.

Dietary Fiber

Passion fruits also contain large amounts of dietary fiber (98% of the daily recommended intake), which helps improve intestinal health, reduces the pH and ammonia levels in the colon and thus encourages healthy intestinal microbiota, and relieves constipation and flatulence. Again, fiber reduces appetite and this again leads to lower insulin levels and reversal of the metabolic syndrome. It also results in lower levels of cholesterol in the blood. The rind of the fruit is also rich in soluble fiber, which has independent anti-diabetic and anti-dyslipidemic effects. Fiber also lowers the risk of colorectal cancer. Piceatannol also counteracts colonic irritation leading to intestinal inflammation.

Eye Health

The large amounts of vitamin A in passion fruit can safeguard eye health against age-related macular degeneration, prevent cataracts, and lower the rate of skin aging and wrinkling.

Anemia

Passion fruit also contains appreciable amounts of copper, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, contributing to bone health and to normal RBC counts, which helps to counter anemia.

Anxiolytic Benefits

Some rodent studies found a marked anxiolytic and sedative effect upon supplementing the diet with passion fruit, due to the alkaloid harman. This can also help to relieve insomnia.

Anti-Tumor Benefits

Anticancer effects include apoptotic actions upon human cancer cell lines, as well as inhibition of migration and epithelial anchoring of metastatic cells in breast and prostate cancer. Piceatannol also inhibits HDL uptake by neurons to which ecto-F1-ATPase autoantibodies are bound. It may thus may slow the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. It may also inhibit antigen-induced WBC degranulation and thus prevent allergic reactions.

Conclusion

Passion fruit is not just a delicious tropical addition to the menu, but a powerhouse of several potential health benefits and should become a part of a varied and rich diet whenever available in season.

 

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Is It Safe to Sleep with High Blood pressure?

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Sleeping seven to eight hours a night may play a role in the treatment and prevention of high blood pressure.Many people do not get enough sleep, and this can affect their health, well-being, and ability to do everyday activities.

What is Sleep Deprivation? Causes and Symptoms

70% of poor sleep is caused by psycho-physiological issues. Most peole refer to these issues as”Insomnia” thought there is a group of sleep disorders that have a similar source of characteristics and manifest themselves in different ways.Psycho-physiological sleep issues are caused by the misalignment of the three main systems that control sleep: sleep drive – or how tired you are when you need to go to sleep; the biological clock that tells us when it is time to be awake and asleep; or the Flight or Fight system that prepares us to deal with danger. When we are in danger, this system will not let us fall asleep. Sometimes, it tells us we are in danger without any real danger is present, especially when our stress level is high.

Causes

There’s no single cause of sleep deprivation and usually, there are a number of interacting factors, but some of the most prevalent include:

Stress

Stress contributes to both sleep loss and high blood pressure. Stress can come from any number of sources. The growing use of technology and access to information, professional pressure to excel, and increased financial burdens are only a few of the stress-causing possibilities. If your stress levels are high, there’s a good chance they’re contributing to your sleep or blood pressure problems.

Poor Sleep Habits

The sleep cycle is highly responsive to environmental conditions and personal behaviours. Poor sleep habits like an irregular bedtime, late-night meals, and nighttime use of electronics can all interfere with the release of sleep hormones and delay the sleep cycle.

Undiagnosed Sleep Disorders

While there are many sleep disorders that go untreated and undiagnosed, sleep apnea has shown a particularly close connection to high blood pressure. This breathing disorder causes oxygen levels to fluctuate throughout the night, putting a higher strain on the cardiovascular system. However, once diagnosed, it can be treated at home with a CPAP machine, which can drastically improve the quality and quantity of your sleep.

Symptoms

A person who is getting too little quality sleep may experience a range of symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Mood changes
  • Difficulty focusing and remembering
  • A reduced sex drive

What is high blood pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when your blood pressure increases to unhealthy levels. Your blood pressure measurement takes into account how much blood is passing through your blood vessels and the amount of resistance the blood meets while the heart is pumping. Narrow arteries increase resistance.

The link between poor sleep and high blood pressure

The link between poor sleep and cardiovascular health problems is increasingly well-established in scientific literature, but the reason for the relationship is less understood.

Researchers set out to learn more about the connection in a study of 300 men and women, ages 21 to 70, with no history of heart problems. Participants wore portable blood pressure cuffs for two consecutive days. The cuffs randomly took participants’ blood pressure during 45-minute intervals throughout each day and also overnight.

At night, participants wore actigraphy monitors — wristwatch-like devices that measure movement — to help determine their “sleep efficiency,” or the amount of time in bed spent sleeping soundly.

Overall, those who had lower sleep efficiency showed an increase in blood pressure during that restless night. They also had higher systolic blood pressure — the top number in a patient’s blood pressure reading — the next day.

More research is needed to understand why poor sleep raises blood pressure and what it could mean long-term for people with chronic sleep issues. Yet, these latest findings may be an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to understanding the pathway through which sleep impacts overall cardiovascular health.

“Blood pressure is one of the best predictors of cardiovascular health,” said lead study author Caroline Doyle, a graduate student in the UA Department of Psychology. “There is a lot of literature out there that shows sleep has some kind of impact on mortality and on cardiovascular disease, which is the No. 1 killer of people in the country. We wanted to see if we could try to get a piece of that story — how sleep might be impacting disease through blood pressure.”

The study reinforces just how important a good night’s sleep can be. It’s not just the amount of time you spend in bed, but the quality of sleep you’re getting, said study co-author John Ruiz, UA associate professor of psychology.

Improving sleep quality can start with making simple changes and being proactive, Ruiz said.

“Keep the phone in a different room,” he suggested. “If your bedroom window faces the east, pull the shades. For anything that’s going to cause you to waken, think ahead about what you can do to mitigate those effects.”

For those with chronic sleep troubles, Doyle advocates cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, or CBTI, which focuses on making behavioral changes to improve sleep health. CBTI is slowly gaining traction in the medical field and is recommended by both the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine as the first line of treatment for insomnia.

Doyle and Ruiz say they hope their findings — showing the impact even one fitful night’s rest can have on the body — will help illuminate just how critical sleep is for heart health.

“This study stands on the shoulders of a broad literature looking at sleep and cardiovascular health,” Doyle said. “This is one more study that shows something is going on with sleep and our heart health. Sleep is important, so whatever you can do to improve your sleep, it’s worth prioritizing.”

Your blood pressure directly responds to sleep loss along with a whole host of negative side effects. A 2010 study conducted amongst 538 middle-aged adults found that sleep depriviation was a relaiable predictor of increased blood pressure levels. The results remained consistent even after being adjusted for age, race, sex, and pressence of high blood pressure medication. In these cases, both shortened sleep duration and poor sleep quality contributed to the increase in blood pressure readings.

In part, sleep deprivation’s effects on the mental and emotional state shed light onto the forces at work. Without enough sleep, the brain becomes more sensitive to negative thoughts and feelings, which causes an increase in stress hormones like cortisol that naturally cause a rise in blood pressure.

How can I improve my sleep?

Changes in your habits and sleep environment can positively impact your sleep. Start by:

Setting a bedtime. The human body is built to run on predictable routines. A regular bedtime allows the brain to adjust the release of sleep hormones to fit your schedule.

Developing a stress-relieving bedtime routine. Reduced stress levels can help you fall and stay asleep faster. Use your bedtime routine to relax before lying down for the night. For a more effective routine, try meditation or gentle yoga poses to bring your heart rate and blood pressure down.

Exercising regularly. Exercise benefits your sleep and blood pressure by improving heart health while helping to regulate weight, yet another contributor to high blood pressure. Exercise also tires the mind and muscles in preparation for sleep.

Eating healthy and smart. It’s not just what you eat—a well-balanced diet consisting of fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats— but when you eat it. Meal timing contributes to the regularity of your sleep cycle so try to eat evenly spaced meals at roughly the same time each day.

Sleep isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity you can’t do without. Adequate sleep goes hand in hand with a healthy diet and regular exercise to control blood pressure. It might take time and effort to make the changes that can improve your sleep and lower your blood pressure, but the health benefits are definitely worth it.

One possible, treatable cause of your lack of sleep contributing to high blood pressure is obstructive sleep apnea — a sleep disorder in which you repeatedly stop and start breathing during sleep. Talk with your doctor if you feel tired even after a full night’s sleep, especially if you snore. Obstructive sleep apnea may be the cause, and it can increase your risk of high blood pressure, as well as heart problems and other health issues.

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