When thinking about what can improve their heart health, most people state discuss a healthy diet and exercise. One aspect, often overlooked in the importance of health, is sleep. Healthy sleeping habits and getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep a night has been proven to increase health outcomes and provide benefits including improved memory, body repair, and reduced stress. Now, research is showing that poor sleep is correlated to increased risk of cardiovascular events and a higher rate of death in heart disease patients.
A recent study showed that 39% of those with coronary artery disease slept too little and 35% slept too long. Both of these groups had a higher risk of mortality. Another recent study showed that people who slept less than 6 hours had a greater burden on coronary vessels. The increased risk is partly due to the increased prevalence of obesity, hypertension, and diabetes in those who have disrupted circadian rhythms. However, when these factors were controlled, studies continued to reveal a risk of cardiovascular disease.
The Healthy Lifestyle Center can discuss the benefits of sleep as well as your personal sleep habits in a medical education consult. We can offer support in helping you set goals to improve your sleep hygiene and overall long-term health.
Source: Kuehn BM. Sleep Duration Linked to Cardiovascular Disease. Circulation. 2019;139(21):2483-2484. [https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.119.041278]