An international group of cardiologists from the UK and the US published the results of a study according to which both lack of sleep and too much sleep increase the likelihood of developing a stroke or heart attack.
Scientists came to these conclusions by analyzing medical data and sleep diaries over 7 years of observation of more than 460,000 people aged 40 to 69 years. The records were provided by the British Biobank. In their calculations, scientists took into account more than 30 factors that affect heart health and human sleep.
It turned out that those who slept less than 6 hours a day, the likelihood of developing a first heart attack in their lives was 20% higher than those who slept the prescribed 6–9 hours. But for those who slept more than this norm, the risks were even higher — by 34%.
The risks increased as people deviated from the norm at 6–9 hours. So, those who slept for 5 hours, the risk of a heart attack increased by 52% compared to those who slept the ideal 7–8 hours. And those who slept 10 hours a night doubled their risks.
Moreover, if a person, according to their genetic characteristics, was initially at an increased risk of developing heart disease, then a normal sleep duration reduced the risk of a first heart attack by 18%.
According to scientists, the findings provide strong evidence that the duration of sleep is one of the key factors affecting heart health.
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