HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Your heart is being closely watched while you're asleep

IF YOU thought sleep is when you really relax, think again. Scientists have discovered that the heart comes under especially close control during sleep. Their findings suggest that sleep may play a role that until now has remained hidden.

Scientists now know that the heartbeat is far more complex and irregular than once supposed (New Scientist, 3 January 1998, p 20). The signals that control a healthy heartbeat contain many different frequency components, and this leads to a highly complex pattern of intervals between beats.

The gaps between heartbeats are "anti-correlated": if the heart speeds up over a short sequence of beats, it will slow down again over the next few beats. More importantly, the pattern of these speed-up/slow-down events can be seen on both short and long timescales: it looks the same over a few beats as it does for a thousand beats. In other words, the heartbeat has a fractal pattern.

An international team led by Plamen Ivanov of the physics department at Boston University decided to compare how the fluctuations in the interval between beats varied between day and night. The results surprised them: during the supposedly relaxed state of sleep, the intervals between heartbeats fluctuated much more strongly, but were brought under control more quickly, showing that the heart is under much closer control during sleep. "It was totally counterintuitive," says Ivanov.

The team initially thought the difference might come about because the body is resting during sleep. Physical activity tends to cause changes in the heartbeat, which would lead to more fluctuations and give the appearance that the heart had less control. But a marked difference remained even when these external influences were taken into account.

The researchers then compared their results with heart data from the cos-monauts on Mir. "It was interesting to compare them with the cosmonauts who were doing something different under different conditions," says L
'"/>

Contact: Claire Bowles
claire.bowles@rbi.co.uk
44-0-20-7331-2751
New Scientist
30-Nov-1999


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Preclinical safety study shows adipose-derived stem cells improve heart function after heart attack
2. Screen siblings, parents of infants with severe heart abnormalities
3. Recent evolution at a single gene may have brought down heart disease risk in some human groups
4. How do you mend a broken heart?
5. Protemix corporation announces discovery of way to repair hearts damaged by diabetes
6. Embryonic stem cell therapy shows steady benefits in rebuilding infarcted heart
7. Putting energy into heart protection
8. Rare mutations can significantly increase risk factor for heart disease
9. Smart gene therapy protects against damage from heart attack
10. University of Pittsburgh medical center among first to implant heart assist device
11. Reading hexametric rhyme supports cardiac synchronization, especially after a heart attack

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Yissum Research Development Company ... company of the Hebrew University, announced today the formation ... technology of various human biological indicators. Neteera Technologies has ... from private investors. ... detection of electromagnetic emissions from sweat ducts, enables reliable ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... http://www.apimages.com ) - --> http://www.apimages.com ) - ... Images ( http://www.apimages.com ) - Germany . ... new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be unveiling this device, and ... Hanover next week.   --> Germany ... the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be unveiling this device, ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... BELL, Pa. , March 10, 2016   Unisys ... U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is testing its ... San Diego to help identify certain ... States . The test, designed to help determine the ... pedestrian environment, began in February and will run until May ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... Morris Midwest ( ... for regional manufacturers at its Maple Grove, Minnesota technical center, May 11-12. ... and Trumpf. Almost 20 leading suppliers of tooling, accessories, software and other ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Most ... devices with fingerprint recognition for secure access, voice recognition for hands-free communication, and ... consumers are interacting with biometrics technology today. But if they asked Joey ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... NDA Partners Chairman Carl ... an Expert Consultant. Mr. Clark was formerly a Vice President with US ... small molecule monographs based on analytical methods. NDA Partners Expert Consultants are ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Global Stem Cells Group and the ... as other research and development initiatives for potential stem cell protocol management for 2016 ... Cells Group executives began meeting to establish a working agenda and foster initiatives to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: