Your sleeping habits may affect your heart, New Study
Your sleeping habits may affect your heart, New Study

Your sleeping habits may affect your heart, New Study

Healthy people who have poor sleep habits may be putting themselves at risk for early signs of heart disease, a new study suggests.

The study, published in the American Heart Association journal, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, suggests that seven hours is the optimal number of sleeping time. To determine if the amount and quality of sleep are linked with heart problems, the researchers asked more than 47,000 young and middle-aged adults to complete a sleep questionnaire and to undergo advanced tests that detect early coronary artery lesions and measure arterial stiffness.

Symptoms of heart attack are predicted by a great amount of calcium in the coronary arteries, according to Dr Chan-Won Kim, the study’s co-lead author. The team discovered that compared with adults who sleep seven hours a day, those who sleep five or fewer hours a day have 50 percent more calcium in their coronary arteries, while those who sleep nine or more hours a day have more than 70 percent more. Meanwhile, adults who reported poor sleep quality had more than 20 percent more coronary calcium than those who reported good sleep quality.

The team also observed a similar pattern when they measured arterial stiffness, said Dr Yoosoo Chang, who is also a lead author of the study. Adults with poor sleep quality were found to have stiffer arteries than those who sleep seven hours a day or had good sleep quality. Overall, the lowest levels of vascular disease were seen in adults who sleep seven hours a day and reported good sleep quality.

“Since we studied apparently healthy young and middle-age men and women without major diseases, it is unlikely that other health problems can explain the association between extreme sleep duration and early markers of heart disease,” Kim said.

The study’s findings highlight the importance of adequate sleep quantity and quality to maintain cardiovascular health. Kim advised people who want to improve their sleep to dim the lights in their living room or bedroom as bedtime approaches, and to go to bed at the same time every day. He added that it is also important to avoid exposure to electronic media at bedtime and to avoid caffeine-containing beverages after lunch. Meanwhile, it might be necessary for doctors to assess patients’ sleep quality when they evaluate the cardiovascular risk and the health status of men and women, Kim said.


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