Just like eating healthily and exercising, a good night's sleep is very important for everyone. A good sleep isn't just important for your energy levels, it is also critical for your heart health.
How sleep is connected to heart health
Most of you have already known that insufficient sleep can increase your heart attack risk, yet the latest study shows that getting too much sleep can be a big problem, too.
In the study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the researchers analyzed the genetic information, self-reported sleep habits and medical records of 461,000 participants aged 40 to 69 who had never had a heart attack, then followed them for seven years.
The researchers found that compared to those who slept 6 to 9 hours per night:
—People who slept fewer than 6 hours had a 20% higher risk to have a heart attack.
—People who slept more than 9 hours had a 34% higher risk to have a heart attack.
They also found that the more or the less people slept, the more their risk increased. For example, compared to those who slept 7 to 8 hours per night:
—People who slept 5 hours had a 52% higher risk to have a heart attack.
—People who slept 10 hours had a 100% higher risk to have a heart attack.
Just being healthy doesn't change things
After taking into account 30 other factors, including body composition, physical activity, socioeconomic status and mental health, the researchers found that sleep duration influenced heart attack risk independently. This means if you are healthy but you sleep too much or too little, you are still more likely to develop a heart problem.
For those who are at high genetic risk of developing a heart attack, sleeping between 6 and 9 hours per night can offset that risk, the researchers noted.
"This provides some of the strongest proof yet that sleep duration is a key factor when it comes to heart health, and this holds true for everyone," said senior author Celine Vetter.