Sleep is good for our heart health!

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

How much sleep do you need for a healthy heart?

  1. 5 hrs
  2. 6-8 hrs
  3. 8-10 hrs
  4. 12 hrs

If you answered b) 6-8 hours – you are correct!

So, are you getting at least 6 hours of sleep a night?

A study published January 14th 2019 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has shown that a lack of sleep can lead to a rise in fatty plaque accumulation in our arteries which is commonly referred to as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is known to increase our risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

What the study showed is that people that slept less than six hours a night were more likely to have increased atherosclerosis than those that slept seven to eight hours a night.

What was really interesting, is you would think the more you slept the better it would be for your health; this was found not to be the case. The study found that if you slept for more than eight hours a night it can in fact increase your risk of atherosclerosis.

In addition poor quality sleepers, people that woke throughout the night or had difficulty getting to sleep had an increased risk of 34% of atherosclerosis compared with people who sleep well. These people also tended to consume more caffeine and alcohol due to suffering from disruptive sleep.

Although this study has not shown a clear cause and effect between sleep and heart health, this study does suggest that sleeping 6-8 hrs a night is good for us and can lead to healthier arteries.

It is important to note, it is not just about how long you sleep but, the quality of your sleep. It is not necessarily quantity over quality.

So, enjoy your sleep, take a tip from Goldilocks, we need to have not too much of it, not too little of it but, just the right amount of quality sleep for good health and wellbeing.

A good night's sleep is very important for our health.

To read the article in full please refer to link below or you may like to listen to the podcast episode on Heart-Sleep Connection with Dr Philip Currie