There’s new research out that points to seven being the magic number when it comes to sleep. The news was published in multiple outlets, including this story at Yahoo News. The study, conducted by researchers at West Virginia University’s (WVU) faculty of medicine and published in the journal “Sleep”, says that those who get less or more than seven hours of sleep each night are more likely to have cardiovascular disease.
The most at-risk group was adults under 60 years of age who slept five hours or fewer a night. They increased their risk of developing cardiovascular disease more than threefold compared to people who sleep seven hours.
Women who skimped on sleep, getting five hours or fewer a day, including naps, were more than two-and-a-half times as likely to develop cardiovascular disease.
Short sleep duration was associated with angina, while both sleeping too little and sleeping too much were associated with heart attack and stroke, the study says.
The authors of the WVU study were unable to determine the causal relationship between how long a person sleeps and cardiovascular disease.
But they pointed out that sleep duration affects endocrine and metabolic functions, and sleep deprivation can lead to impaired glucose tolerance, reduced insulin sensitivity and elevated blood pressure, all of which increase the risk of hardening the arteries.
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