Six to eight hours sleep is best for your heart

By June Shannon Heart News   |   27th Aug 2018

Too much or too little sleep may be bad for the heart

Getting six to eight hours sleep a night is good for your heart while anything less or more may be detrimental, a new study has suggested.

The research, which was presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) annual congress, which is currently taking place in Munich in Germany, also revealed that sleeping for less or more than six to eight hours a night may increase your risk of developing or dying from heart disease or stroke.

The author of the study author Dr Epameinondas Fountas, of the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre, Athens in Greece, said: “We spend one-third of our lives sleeping yet we know little about the impact of this biological need on the cardiovascular system.”

The study examined the relationship between the length of sleep and cardiovascular disease using a review of studies that included more than one million adults without cardiovascular disease published within the last five years.

"Our findings suggest that too much or too little sleep may be bad for the heart,"

Dr Epameinondas Fountas, Author of the study, The Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre, Greece,

The researcher compared two groups, one with adults who slept for less than six hours a night (short) and another with those who had more than eight hours sleep a night (long), to another group comprised of adults who slept for six to eight hours every night.

The researchers found that both short and long sleepers had a greater risk of developing or dying from coronary artery disease or stroke.

Compared to adults who slept six to eight hours a night, short and long sleepers had 11 per cent and 33 per cent greater risks, respectively, of developing or dying from coronary artery disease or stroke during an average follow-up of 9.3 years.

Dr Fountas said: “Our findings suggest that too much or too little sleep may be bad for the heart. More research is needed to clarify exactly why, but we do know that sleep influences biological processes like glucose metabolism, blood pressure, and inflammation – all of which have an impact on cardiovascular disease.”

"Getting the right amount of sleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle,”

Dr Epameinondas Fountas, Author of the study, The Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre, Greece,

“Having the odd short night or lie-in is unlikely to be detrimental to health, but evidence is accumulating that prolonged nightly sleep deprivation or excessive sleeping should be avoided. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to get into the habit of getting six to eight hours a night – for example by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, avoiding alcohol and caffeine before bed, eating healthily, and being physically active. Getting the right amount of sleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle,” Dr Fountas concluded.

The ESC brings together health care professionals from more than 150 countries including Ireland who work to advance cardiovascular medicine and help people lead longer, healthier lives.

The ESC Congress is the world’s largest and most influential cardiovascular event contributing to global awareness of the latest clinical trials and breakthrough discoveries. ESC Congress 2018 takes place 25 to 29 August at the Messe München in Munich, Germany.

 

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cardiovascular disease healthy living heart heart disease heart health sleep stroke

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