Too Little Or Too Much Sleep Linked To Upped Heart Attack Risk, Says New Solid Study

From teenagers to adults, it is not uncommon for people to skip sleep. The reason? Study load, work responsibilities, and even nighttime social media use. Stats reveal that about 97% of teenagers do not get as much sleep as they should. As per the American Sleep Association, adults need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Missing sleep once or twice may not be much of a big deal with your only resulting concern being fatigue.

However, chronic lack of sleep is linked to a number of health problems ranging from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity to even early death. Keep in mind though that sleeping too much is just as harmful as not sleeping enough. In fact, a new study says that getting too little or too much sleep can both up your risk of heart attack.

Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder conducted this study that the Journal of the American College of Cardiology published.

Study Finds Link Between Sleep And Heart Attack Risk

This research work gave the most concrete proof yet of the link between sleep and the risk of heart attack. Scientists also found that sleeping from 6 to 9 hours can counteract the risk of heart attack. For the purpose of this study, researchers employed data from the UK Biobank dataset.

They also combined observational research with genetic to get answers. Apart from looking at the genetic data of those who were part of the study, scientists also analyzed their self-reported sleep habits and medical records.

The total number of UK Biobank participants was a massive 461,000. These people were in the age bracket of 40 to 69 and had never had a heart attack. Researchers followed up with them for seven years. It was found that sleep and heart attack risk are closely related. Such that too much or too little sleep can increase the odds of having a heart attack.

Findings Of The Study

Researchers drew the following conclusions:

  • Sleeping less than 6 hours bumped up the risk of heart attack by 20%
  • Sleeping more than 9 hours raised the risk of heart attack by 34%
  • Those who had the genetic tendency to get a heart attack during their lifetime could slash down their risk by 18% if they slept between 6 to 9 hours nightly
  • The more people slept more or less than the recommended amount, the higher was their risk
  • Those who slept just five hours every night had a 52% upped heart attack risk
  • Those who slept for 10 hours per night had double the risk of heart attack than those who slept five hours

This shows that just like other lifestyle changes, just sleeping the right amount can also cut down your risk of heart attack, even if you are genetically predisposed to heart problems. It was noted that sleep’s association with the risk of heart attack stood independent of other lifestyle factors. This means that you could eat a healthy diet, exercise and not smoke, but lack of sleep could still increase your risk.