Help Out Your Heart: Sleep Seven Hours Per Night

A new study suggests that seven hours of sleep is optimal if you want to maintain a healthy heart.  Getting less than five hours per day more than doubles one’s risk of developing angina, coronary heart disease, heart attack or stroke.  And while eight hours of sleep is commonly known as the ideal amount, the study out of  West Virginia University says that more than seven hours of shut eye also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

In this study of 30,000 American adults the strong link between too much or too little sleep and cardiovascular disease was clear even after screening out those with diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression.  The exact reason for this correlation is still unknown, but researchers point out that sleep duration has an impact on endocrine and metabolic functions.  Also sleep deprivation can lead impaired glucose tolerance, reduced insulin sensitivity, and elevated blood pressure, all of which contribute to a hardening of the arteries.

Hardening of the arteries is called atherosclerosis.  Read more about causes and prevention of heart disease.

Source: The Daily Telegraph