Getting just the right amount of sleep is a goal that is extremely hard to reach for most people. However, bad sleeping habits can lead to various health problems in the long run, even if we might be totally unaware of this.
A new study proves that people who get either too much or too little sleep are much more likely to suffer from heart disease than those who rest for seven hours every night.
According to Dr. Chan-Won Kim, the lead study author and clinical associate professor at the Center for Cohort Studies at Kangbuk Samsung Hospital in Seoul, South Korea, individuals who don’t manage to have quality rest can get stiffened arteries or calcium deposits stuck on the walls of their major arteries.
“Coronary calcium develops way before heart attack symptoms occur, and a greater amount of calcium in the coronary arteries predicts future development of heart disease,” said Dr. Kim.
The whole theory sounds familiar, because this is certainly not the first study that links poor sleep habits with heart disease. However, this research is looking into precursors of heart disease even in people who are apparently healthy, making this a study that assesses the potential risk factor for heart disease due to poor sleep.
The researchers looked at the data of 47,000 adults whose ages varied from young to middle-aged. These were asked to complete a questionnaire related to their sleep habits and they also had their arterial stiffness tested in order to check for signs of artery lesions that were caused by calcium deposits.
After looking at the results, it was revealed that the people who got less than 5 hours of sleep had as much as 50 percent more calcium deposited on the walls of their arteries than the ones who slept seven hours a day. On the other hand, those who got more than nine hours of sleep,surprisingly had 70 percent more calcium than the healthy sleepers.
“Since we studied apparently healthy young and middle-age men and women without major diseases, it is unlikely that other health problems can explain the association between extreme sleep duration and early markers of heart disease,” said Dr. Kim.
It is not yet certain why our heart condition is related to the amount of sleep we get at night and this has been a long-debated issue. While we sleep, our body recovers, our brain hits the refresh button and hormones are released. These changes might affect our blood pressure and blood sugar, as well as other factors that could affect our heart health.
Thus, it is useful for heart experts to ask questions related to how much their patients sleep before establishing up to what extent they are facing high risks of suffering from heart disease.
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