Min menu


Sleeping Less Than 6 Hours Per Night Increases The Risk Of Heart Attack By 35%

Sleeping Less Than 6 Hours Per Night Increases The Risk Of Heart Attack By 35%

Here is another reason why it is imperative to have a good night's sleep: according to a new study conducted by researchers from the Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) and relayed by the Dailymail, sleeping less than six hours per night increases considerably the risk of developing atheroma plaques throughout the body, not just in your heart.

"Cardiovascular disease is a major global problem. We treat and prevent it using different approaches, including pharmaceuticals, physical activity and nutrition, "said Jose M. Ordovás, the lead author of the study. "But this study, published in the American College of Cardiology, points out that we need to include sleep among the weapons we use to fight heart disease - a factor we are compromising every day. "

The researchers found that people sleeping too little (less than six hours a night) or too much (more than eight hours a night) increased the risk of heart disease, particularly atherosclerosis, a disease affecting the arteries and causing the onset of of atheroma plaques. "This is the first study to show that objectively measured sleep is independently associated with atherosclerosis throughout the body, not just in the heart," Ordovás said.

The researchers also found that sleep quality, as well as duration, affected the risk of cardiovascular disease.

In fact, participants who slept less than six hours were 27% more likely to have an accumulated plaque in their arteries. Participants who slept poorly, especially if they had difficulty staying asleep or waking up in the middle of the night, had a 34% higher probability of atherosclerosis.

Research suggests that sleep patterns should be considered as a preventative measure to help guard against heart disease, but more work is needed to see if changing sleep patterns would help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Some tips for sleeping well

1. Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption before going to bed
Although alcohol can help you fall asleep faster, studies show that it can affect the quality of your sleep. Alcohol reduces REM sleep.

Caffeine can make falling asleep difficult, but also disrupt sleep and disrupt the paradoxical sleep cycle. One study found that drinking coffee six hours before going to bed reduced total sleep time by one hour.

REM sleep occurs approximately 90 minutes after falling asleep. REM sleep disturbances not only deprive you of much needed sleep, but can also make you lethargic and prevent you from concentrating during the day.

2. Charge your phone away from your bed
It is not uncommon for people to go to bed and browse social media over the phone just before falling asleep. This is even easier when your phone is charging near your bed.

The problem is that the light of our smartphones is "enriched in short wavelength", which means that it has a higher concentration of blue light than natural light. Blue light not only lowers the levels of melatonin, which causes sleep, but it also disturbs the body's circadian rhythms.

Blue light basically causes your body to think it's light, which makes it difficult to fall asleep.

3. Reduce long naps
Long naps during the day can have a negative impact on your sleep at night. Studies have also shown that irregular naps during the day cause drowsiness, and disturb your internal clock, which could prevent you from falling asleep at night.

4. Replace your pillow and mattress
Studies show that both your mattress and pillow have a big impact on the quality of your sleep.

Other research has also been conducted on the benefits of a new mattress. They found that a better mattress reduced back pain by 57%, back stiffness by 59%, shoulder pain by 60% and improved sleep quality by 60%.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, pillows should be replaced every year, while your mattress should be replaced every five to ten years. Replacing both your pillow and your mattress could be a quick fix for your sleep problems.