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Not Enough or Too Much Sleep Not Good for Your Heart

New study finds that even when accounting for other known risk factors, sleeping less than four, or more than eight hours per night, increases risk of death from coronary heart disease.

A recent study published in the International Journal of Cardiology has reported on the effects of sleep duration on risk of death from coronary heart disease. Taking into account other known risk factors, such as cardiovascular risk factors, or the presence of other chronic diseases, researchers assessed almost 400 000 adults over the age of 20 years, collecting information on participants’ sleeping patterns.

The researchers found that people who slept less than four hours per night had a 34% increase in risk of death from coronary heart disease when compared with people who slept between six and eight hours per night. On the other hand, sleeping more than eight hours per night was associated with a 53% increased risk of dying from coronary heart disease when compared with people who slept between six and eight hours per night. The risks remained high for these groups of people even when taking into account other risk factors.

Although the reasons for the change in risk with differing sleep durations is still unknown, it is thought that little sleep results in s stress response, resulting in increased cardiovascular risk factors. While further research is necessary to determine possible reasons for sleep duration and increased risk, the researchers conclude that length of time spent sleeping is an important aspect of healthy living, providing a preventive measure for risk of coronary heart disease.

 References

  1. Strand LB, Tsai MK, Gunnell D, Janszky I, Wen CP, Chang SS. Self-reported sleep duration and coronary heart disease mortality: A large cohort study of 400,000 Taiwanese adults. Int J Cardiol. 2016;207:246-251. doi:10.1016/j.ijcard.2016.01.044
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