Good night’s sleep ‘protects heart’

Good night’s sleep ‘protects heart’

Sleep is nice for the guts in addition to the mind, say researchers

Seven or more hours’ sleep an evening boosts the advantages to the center of a healthy lifestyle, research suggests.

According to a giant study, traditional advice on exercise, diet, drinking and smoking reduced deaths from heart disease or stroke, but much more lives were saved by also having enough sleep.

Advice on getting enough sleep can have a considerable impact on public health, say European researchers.

In theory, many heart and stroke deaths may well be prevented or postponed.

A team within the Netherlands tracked heart disease and strokes in additional than 14,000 males and females for greater than a decade.

By the top of the study, about 600 individuals had suffered heart disease or stroke, and 129 died.

The study found that deaths were less likely in those who followed all four positive lifestyle recommendations – taking exercise, eating a nutritious diet, drinking alcohol sparsely, and never smoking.

Observing all four behaviours was related to a 57% lower risk of heart problems and a 67% lower risk of dying from stroke or heart disease, they are saying.

But when sufficient sleep – seven or more hours an evening – was added to any other four lifestyle factors, the beneficial effect was amplified – leading to a 65% lower risk of heart problems and an 83% lower risk of death from heart problems.

The researchers say other studies have shown a link between poor sleep and heart problems, but it is the primary to examine whether sleep – added to any other four healthy lifestyle recommendations – can further reduce risk.

“If all participants adhered to all five healthy lifestyle factors, 36% of composite heart problems [heart disease or stroke] and 57% of fatal heart problems could theoretically be prevented or postponed,” say the researchers, from the National Institute for Public Health and the surroundings, Bilthoven, and Wageningen University.

“The general public health impact of sufficient sleep duration, as well as the standard healthy lifestyle factors, may well be substantial.”

Commenting at the work, published within the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, Prof Grethe S Tell, of the University of Bergen, Norway, said some great benefits of sleep must be considered by public health experts and fogeys alike.

“The key message of the study is that we have to consider sleep as crucial factor for health,” she told BBC News.

“From a public health standpoint we must always encourage people to get enough sleep and prefer all other healthy lifestyle factors this has to be taught at home.”

Sleepless nights

Doireann Maddock, senior cardiac nurse on the British Heart Foundation, said people suffering sleepless nights shouldn’t be alarmed.

“This research shows that combining a superb night’s sleep with other healthy lifestyle choices can reduce your risk of heart disease,” she said.

“But troubled sleepers shouldn’t be alarmed – this study does not imply sleepless nights cause heart disease.”

She added that further research was had to fully understand the link between sleeping habits and the guts.

“In case you find it difficult to float off, avoiding caffeine and heavy meals too with reference to the tip of the day may also help.

“But when loss of sleep is becoming an issue, be sure to have a talk on your doctor.”