Sleeping too little or even too, seems to cause heart problems. Data collected in a new study shows that adults who sleep less than six hours a night have a significantly higher risk of developing heart attack, stroke and congestive heart failure.
Moreover, the same research indicates that individuals who slept more than eight hours a night also had a greater prevalence of heart problems, namely chest pain (angina) and coronary artery disease, a narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart.
Although these findings are consistent with those obtained in previous studies, albeit smaller, researchers believe that this is the first nationally representative sample used to find an association between time spent in sleep and heart health, and the first time in which five different conditions are analyzed simultaneously.
The team of Dr. Rohit R. Arora, professor of cardiology and professor of medicine at Chicago Medical School, under the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Illinois, United States, about 3,019 patients studied over 45 years. The analysis showed that people who slept very little were twice as likely to suffer a stroke or a heart attack and 1.6 times more likely to develop congestive heart failure. People who slept more than eight hours a night were twice as likely to suffer from angina and 1.1 times more likely to have coronary artery disease.
Based on these results, it appears that in adults sleep between six and eight hours per day may minimize the risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease over time.
Not getting enough sleep and was associated with hyperactivation of the sympathetic nervous system, glucose intolerance, diabetes and increased cortisol levels, blood pressure, heart rate at rest and inflammatory markers, all of which is associated with cardiovascular disease.
However, researchers still are not clear why a lot of sleep could be associated with heart problems. It is not excluded that the tendency to sleep more than 8 hours a day on a regular basis is the result of other health factors or lifestyle involved in these problems.