WARNING about sleep: Find out how to LOWER your risk of heart disease, according to new research
(NaturalHealth365) There is so much scientific evidence to link sleep problems with many unwanted health issues. Now research out of Tufts University and Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III in Madrid, Spain is confirming that both sleep duration and quality can influence our heart disease risk.
We know that sleep is one of the most restorative things we can do for ourselves. In fact, feeling rested – physically and mentally – is crucial to our quality of life and performance throughout the day.
Simply put, if you’re suffering with poor health, this information will be very important to appreciate.
Discover the significant risk linked to sleep problems and heart disease
For the study, the researchers analyzed medical data from nearly 4,000 Spanish residents with an average age of 46. These individuals were also part of the PESA study (Progression of Early Subclinical Atherosclerosis.) Atherosclerosis is a condition characterized by a buildup of plaque in the arteries.
This study looked at prevalence and progression of the vascular issues known for leading to heart disease. Two-thirds of the participants were male, and none had a heart disease diagnosis at the outset of the study.
All participants received 3-D heart ultrasounds and cardiac CT scans to check for heart disease as well as atherosclerosis throughout the body. The study participants were assessed for vascular lesions and also wore a sleep actigraph, a device that records sleep patterns.
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It was found that persons who slept less than 6 hours per day had a 27 percent increased risk for atherosclerosis as compared with persons who slept 7 to 8 hours per night. Poor sleep quality was associated with a 34 percent higher atherosclerosis risk. In many cases, the persons who reported getting less sleep regularly drank alcohol and caffeinated beverages throughout the day.
TOO much sleep can also be a problem
Cardiovascular disease is usually treated with medications, dietary changes and exercise. However, now it’s clear that both sleep duration and quality should be considered as part of the treatment protocol.
The research also found that high quality sleep even of limited duration has more health benefits than low-quality sleep for longer periods of time. Interestingly, the study also found that getting TOO much sleep – more than 8 hours per night – could be detrimental to health and was associated with a higher risk of atherosclerosis.
Regular exercise and melatonin for sleep can make a difference
Published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. this study reveals that sleep problems are also associated with high blood pressure, obesity and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
No doubt, sleep is one of the most restorative things we can do for ourselves. And, now, research shows it is important for our heart health.
Keep in mind, regular exercise can help to improve sleep quality. And, taking 1 to 3 mg of melatonin for sleep is another natural way to enhance sleeping duration and quality.
Sources for this article include:
Cancer & Heart Disease
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