We all know that we need to sleep a certain amount of hours each night in order to stay in tune and to be able to function effectively day to day, but did you know that how much we sleep may also have an impact on our heart health?
Well, according to a recent study, it has been determined that if you don’t sleep enough and just importantly, if you sleep too much, you could be increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke.
The study which was presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress analysed the sleeping patterns of over 1 million people and found that it was not only sleep deprivation which was detrimental to heart health, but also excessive sleeping.
The ‘sweet spot’ was established as between six to eight hours of sleep per night with those sleeping for less than six or more than eight on a regular basis increasing their risk of serious conditions such as coronary heart disease and stroke.
Researchers said that those who slept less than six hours per night had an 11% greater risk, while those who slept for more than eight hours on a regular basis a 33% greater risk.
Study author Dr Epameinondas Fountas of the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre in Athens said, "Our findings suggest that too much or too little sleep may be bad for the heart,”.
"More research is needed to clarify exactly why, but we do know that sleep influences biological processes like glucose metabolism, blood pressure, and inflammations – all of which have an impact on cardiovascular disease,".
Senior cardiac nurse Emily McGrath of the British Heart Foundation, also stressed the importance of getting a good night's sleep.
She said: "When it comes to our heart and circulatory health, this large study suggests that there may be a sweet spot between getting too much, and getting too little sleep”.