Have you ever wondered whether irritating vibrations from noises or movements throughout the day and night affect your overall health? Current research shows that this is definitely the case. Natural disasters and the hustle-and-bustle of daily surroundings can wreak havoc on your sleep-wake cycle and biological health for the long-term.
A 2009 earthquake in Italy for instance concluded that exposure to natural traumas can have enduring effects on sleep behavior. Residents in L’Aquila were studied before and after the earthquake to gauge changes in sleep patterns. Results showed that distance from the focus of the earthquake was related to a high Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score as well as the presence of disruptive nocturnal behaviors.
Another study also found negative longstanding effects on sleep quality among Helsinki residents. The findings were due to low-frequency vibrations emanating from freight trains passing through the night. Subjects were found to take longer than normal to fall asleep, and their heart rates were increased. The study concluded that the population was at risk for decreased function during the workday and for adverse health consequences.
Not surprisingly, animal models lead to similar findings in regards to the lasting effects of novel stresses. Mice exposed to a continual psychological stress, such as water avoidance, show a deterioration in sleep health. The mice in this study were observed to eat more with loss of sleep. Their energy balance and sleep-wake cycle eventually exhibited dysregulation, and their adrenal hormones were elevated. Moreover, the effects resulting from water avoidance were similar to symptoms found in patients with insomnia.
Next time you are pondering on what is affecting your blood pressure or stress hormone levels, consider the agile and noisy commotions of the macroscopic world. It may behoove you to find ways to escape life’s oscillations and increase your good vibrations.
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