Getting 6 hours or less of quality sleep a night makes you about twice as susceptible to heart attack or stroke.
Sleep is essential for a healthy heart. People who do not get enough quality sleep are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease – regardless of age, weight, smoking, or exercise habits.
One study that examined data from over 3000 adults over age 45 found that those getting less than 6 hours of quality sleep a night were twice as likely to suffer a stroke or heart attack than those getting 6 to 8 hours of quality sleep each night.
Heart attacks and strokes are more common in the early morning hours. This fact may be explained by the way sleep interacts with the blood vessels. Lack of sleep has been associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as glucose metabolism and inflammation – risk factors for heart attack and stroke.
Your heart will be healthier if you get between 7 and 9 hours of quality sleep nightly.
HEART HEALTH ISN’T JUST A CONCERN FOR OLDER PEOPLE.
Getting too little sleep can be just as dangerous for young people as well, with negative consequences in physical, emotional, and mental development. Studies have shown that poor sleep habits in adolescents resulted in elevated cholesterol levels, higher blood pressure levels, increased waist size, larger body mass index and greater risk of hypertension. Of course, this all means that reduced sleep or sleep quality in youth puts an individual at much greater risk for cardiovascular disease throughout life.
SLEEP IS CRITICAL AT ALL AGES!