APR 18, 2020 9:48 AM PDT

Is Good Sleep Necessary for a Healthy Heart?

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Over 50 million Americans reportedly have trouble sleeping. As research is increasingly finding that having a good night’s sleep is linked to maintaining a healthy heart, it may be time to reconsider your sleep schedule, and how to get better quality rest. 

A recent study examined the cardiovascular health of almost 5000 women by asking them to report on their sleep quality, the amount of time taken to fall asleep, whether they had insomnia and their dietary habits. In the end, the study found that those who had the worst sleep generally consumed more added sugars than those who slept better. Moreover, women with poorer quality sleep also tended to over-eat and make unhealthy food choices

As this study was observational, its results may not be conclusive. However, as poor dietary habits tend to increase one’s risk of cardiovascular disease in general, it seems that poor sleep may affect cardiovascular health by affecting diet. The study further implies that the sensation of being full may be affected by sleep deprivation, perhaps in tampering with complex hormonal signaling. Poor diets may also affect our ability to fall and stay asleep. 

Another study conducted recently sought to compare sleep regularity with the development of cardiovascular disease among almost 2000 adult men and women without the disease. Over a five-year period, the participants wore wrist trackers to monitor their daily activities and sleep cycles. Participants also completed a comprehensive sleep study and provided dietary information. 

In the end, the researchers found that irregular sleep patterns increased the participants' risk for heart disease. In fact, those with the most irregular sleep cycles were more than twice as likely to develop heart disease than those with more regular sleep. From the study, the researchers concluded that multiple factors may link sleep patterns with metabolic changes known to increase one’s risk of cardiovascular disease including obesity, diabetes and higher cholesterol.

Given the findings from these two studies, better regulated sleep may be a good precaution to safeguard heart health. Although of course not conclusive as they do not necessarily prove a direct link, these studies nevertheless correlate poor sleep with known risk factors. 

 

Sources: Harvard Health, Healthline

 

About the Author
  • Science writer with keen interests in technology and behavioral biology. Her current focus is on the interplay between these fields to create meaningful interactions, applications and environments.
You May Also Like
OCT 04, 2020
Cardiology
The Genetics of Body Fat May Shape Health Risks
OCT 04, 2020
The Genetics of Body Fat May Shape Health Risks
The work may help explain why men and women are at risk for different diseases and often respond to different treatments ...
OCT 15, 2020
Immunology
The Immune Cells Giving Menopausal Women Higher BPs
OCT 15, 2020
The Immune Cells Giving Menopausal Women Higher BPs
In general, men have higher blood pressures than women, giving them an increased risk of developing heart disease. After ...
JAN 07, 2021
Cardiology
Climbing Some Stairs is a Good Way to Check Heart Health
JAN 07, 2021
Climbing Some Stairs is a Good Way to Check Heart Health
If you can climb four flights in under a minute, your heart is probably in good shape, according to new work presented a ...
JAN 14, 2021
Cardiology
Cortisol in Your Hair Could Predict Your Risk of Heart Attack
JAN 14, 2021
Cortisol in Your Hair Could Predict Your Risk of Heart Attack
The everyday tracking of health has become far easier these days with the advent of fitness watches and other technology ...
JAN 25, 2021
Cardiology
Obesity's Poor Health Impact Not Overcome by Exercise
JAN 25, 2021
Obesity's Poor Health Impact Not Overcome by Exercise
While there has been limited evidence that activity and fitness can counter the health impacts of excess body fat, a new ...
APR 08, 2021
Immunology
It's Not Just Cholesterol That Clogs Arteries
APR 08, 2021
It's Not Just Cholesterol That Clogs Arteries
Researchers have discovered a gene that is directly linked to the development of cardiovascular diseases, such as high b ...
Loading Comments...