Endocrine Abstracts (2006) 11 P618

Night sleep affected by salt

R Samadie & F Heydarpour


Zums, Zanjan, Iran.


Introduction: Salt in the principal supply of sodium. In normal conditions the average daily salt intake of Iranian adults is 5–15 gr. 4–6 spoonfuls of salt in a day can be lethal, but for soldiers in equatorial regions 50 grams of salt in a day may be needed. In this study the effects of salt on night sleep was addressed.

Method: 20 volunteer students were chosen for the study. They had no problem sleeping before the study. They recorded the time of sleep and when they went to bed for five nights before salt eating, In the 6th day they took 0.5 gram of salt per 10 kilos of body weight at 8.00 PM at night We did record time of sleep, times of awakening at night, presence of any disturbances,depth of sleep, duration of fulfilling sleep. amount and times of drinking water at night, their general condition after sleep, effect on REM and NON-REM presence of nightmares. All these parameter about night sleep were studied.

Results: Salt delays time to go to bed, during sleep the individual awakens several times, Sleep disturbance is about 2–3 hours. The normal pattern is disrupted and deep sleep is decreased and it is superficial at best.REM and NON-REM cycles are influenced. NON-REM decreases and REM increases so that the individual dreams a lot and even sometimes has nightmares. The day after, they are not satisfied with the sleep. Subjects awaken earlier and during the night repeatedly got up to drink water. The day after they felt drowsy and fatigued.

Discussion: Chips, nuts and other foods normally contain lots of sodium (5–10%). Each 100 gram introduces 4–6 gram of salt to the body. Taking these especially in the evenings can disrupt sleep. Thus it is recommended people with sleep problems must not take these in the last hours of the day.

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