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Sleep - too much or too little is risky!

How much is too much?
How little is too little?
What's the risk?

Recently, some researchers presented an analysis of studies published in the last 5 years of over a million adults without heart disease.

They found that 6-8 hours seemed to be the right amount of nightly shut-eye for heart health. Too little or too much sleep increased the risk of heart disease or stroke!

Those who averaged less than 6 hours were 11% more likely to get heart disease or stroke.

They also found that those who averaged more than 8 hours were 33% more likely to die from or develop heart disease or stroke.

The analysis only showed associations and not cause and effect, so it is unclear why exactly sleep affects vascular disease, but it is known that sleep influences glucose metabolism, blood pressure, and inflammation, so these are the likely mechanisms.

So, make sleep a priority and practice good sleep habits such as avoiding alcohol or caffeine close to bedtime, going to bed and getting up at about the same time every night, eating healthy foods and being physically active most days.

Beverly J. Howard, PhD, RN, FNP-BC

(Summarized from original article in HealthDay-News for Healthier Living written by Robert Preidt)

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