A few weeks ago, we wrote about how getting less Zzzs can lead to several harmful effects on your heart and body. While that is certainly a problem for a majority of sleep-deprived Americans, the solution does not lie in tipping the balance to too many Zzzs.
In a recently published meta-analysis study from over 60 studies representing over 3 million participants published in the Journal of American Heart Association, it was found that divergence from the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep is associated with a higher risk of major heart-related events like heart attacks or stroke, and even death. What’s more? – longer duration of sleep may be more associated with adverse outcomes compared with shorter sleep duration.
The scientists described a J-shaped relationship between duration of sleep and risk of harmful events like heart attacks and death. The risk was noted to be lowest for people who self-reported 7-8 hours of sleep. The risk was higher for those who reported less sleep, and even higher for those who reported more. In fact, there was a dose-response relationship such that every one-hour increase in sleep duration was associated with much higher risk. Sleeping for 9 hours, for example, carried a 14 percent higher risk of death, while 10-hour sleeps carried a 30 percent higher risk. The results also showed that poor-quality sleep was linked to a whopping 44 percent higher risk of heart disease.
Another study by authors from Columbia University Medical Center conducted only among women and published recently highlighted how poor sleep quality and insomnia are associated with increased blood pressure and vascular inflammation, further highlighting the need to spread awareness about good sleep quality and duration.
So, we recommend that you follow the National Sleep Foundation’s latest guidelines for 7–9 hours of sleep every night for adults aged 26–64, and 7–8 hours for older people. Time to set your alarm clock. Have a good night and sleep tight. Zzz
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