Poor Sleep Raises Heart Disease Risk

Getting too much or too little sleep at night? Either may increase your risk of developing heart disease, according to a South Korean study.

Men and women who slept for nine hours or more or five hours or less--compared to seven hours a night--were found to have more calcium on arterial walls as well as stiffer arteries - both risk factors for the disease. 

The researchers studied more than 47,000 adults, who reported how long and how well they slept. In addition, health screenings on arterial calcium were analyzed for about 29,000 of the participants. Lastly, for about 18,000 of the participants, researchers studied the stiffness of their arteries.

Researchers say that quantity isn’t the only thing that matters, and that the quality of your sleep also plays a role. Adults who reported poor sleep were more likely to display similar early signs of heart disease compared to those who slept well.  

Although obesity and depression may have also been contributing factors, previous studies have shown that minimal or inadequate sleep is related to heart attack and stroke. However, this study was looking for early warning signs of heart disease in healthy men and women, before symptoms begin to appear.

Other experts noted that sleep differs for everyone, and some people may feel rested from more or fewer hours of sleep than normal. But there’s little question that getting both enough, and a quality night’s rest is important overall. Some experts even believe that doctors should include sleep recommendations just as they would other prescriptions. 

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[Sourced from: LiveScience, http://www.livescience.com/52140-poor-sleep-heart-disease.html](Poor Sleep May Increase Heart Disease Risk)