Sleep is essential for a healthy heart. People who don’t sleep enough are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease—regardless of age, weight, sex and exercise habits. One study that examined data from 3,000 adults over the age of 45 found that those who slept fewer than six hours per night were about twice as likely to have a stroke or heart attack as people who slept six to eight hours per night.
It’s not completely clear why less sleep is detrimental to heart health, but researchers understand that sleeping too little causes disruptions in underlying health conditions and biological processes like glucose metabolism, blood pressure, and inflammation. Sleeping for less than six hours a night greatly increases the risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke, a study has found.
Scientists claim that the modern tendency to delay going to bed in order to get through more of the items on the ‘to do’ list has serious health consequences.But beware. Having the time and the tendency to retreat under the duvet for hours longer is not necessarily a health guarantee. Those who have too much sleep are also more likely to suffer a heart attack.
While the extra slumber is unlikely to be the cause, long-term illnesses such as heart disease often make sufferers feel tired, so sleeping for longer than nine hours a night may be an early warning sign.
Researchers found that those who slept for less than six hours were almost 50 per cent more likely to suffer a heart attack and 15 per cent more at risk of strokes.
They believe that not having enough sleep disrupts the balance of two key hormones, ghrelin and leptin, which control the appetite.
Poor sleepers tend to eat more and are more likely to be obese, so are at greater risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, which lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Experts recommend adults get at least six or seven hours’ shut-eye a night to stay healthy.
Not having enough sleep decreases the levels of leptin in our blood, which means we do not feel as satisfied after eating.At the same time, it raises the levels of ghrelin, responsible for triggering our appetite, thus making us feel hungrier.The scientists believe that our ‘work hard, play hard’ society encourages us to sacrifice sleep and compromises our health.
Professor Francesco Cappuccino, from the University of Warwick Medical School, said: ‘If you sleep less than six hours per night and have disturbed sleep you stand a 48 per cent greater chance of developing or dying from heart disease and a 15 per cent greater chance of developing or dying of a stroke.
The trend for late nights and early mornings is actually a ticking time bomb for our health so you need to act now to reduce your risk of developing these life-threatening conditions.
There is an expectation in today’s society to fit more into our lives. The whole work-life balance struggle is causing too many of us to trade in precious sleeping time to ensure we complete all the jobs we believe are expected of us.
But in doing so, we are significantly increasing the risk of suffering a stroke or developing cardiovascular disease resulting in, for example, heart attacks.’
Co-researcher Dr Michelle Miller said: ‘Chronic short sleep produces hormones and chemicals in the body which increase the risk of developing heart disease and strokes, and other conditions like high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes and obesity.’
But the scientists also warned that sleeping more than nine hours every night may be an early warning sign of heart disease.
Negative effects of good sleep
1.Sleep Deprivation can put you at risk for:
•High blood pressure
2. Sleepiness Causes Accidents
3. Sleep Loss Dumbs You Down
4. Sleepiness Is Depressing
5. Lack of Sleep Ages Your Skin
6. Sleepiness Makes You Forgetful
7. Losing Sleep Can Make You Gain Weight
Positive effects of good sleep
The positive effects of a good sleep are immediately evident when we wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. The positive effect of sleep is not just on your heart health but also on your stress hormones, your immune system, your breathing, and your mental status.
“People who get seven to eight hours of sleep have more alertness and better focus. They have less depression and anxiety. Getting a good night’s sleep has a positive impact on your metabolism and weight loss benefits.”
How to improve your sleep habits
Avoid stimulants before bed
Establish a relaxation routine
Stay away from sleep medications