Getting the Right Amount of Sleep Affects your Cardiovascular Health

Approximately 60% of US adults report sleeping the recommended 7-9 hours per night.  The consequences of unhealthy sleep, which include risk of chronic diseases, productivity loss, and fatigue-related performance concerns, have been described as a critical public health problem.  Meta-analyses show a U-shaped association between short and long sleep duration and risk of developing cardiovascular disease.  The American Heart Association defined ideal cardiovascular health on the basis of 7 modifiable factors:  smoking, body mass index, diet, physical activity, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, and total cholesterol.  Meeting the ideal criteria for 5 to 7 components is associated with a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease.  Researchers in a recent study involving over 10,000 adults demonstrated an association between very short (<6 hours) and very long (>9 hours) sleep duration and reduced cardiovascular heath with increased risks of developing later cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke.

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