A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic

Sleep your way to a healthier heart

Sleep and it's relation to heart attacks

The amount of sleep you get each night, and the quality of that sleep, has consequences for your heart health.

Did you know the amount you sleep each night could have a major impact on your heart health?

“Adults who sleep less than seven hours each night are more likely to say they have had health problems, including heart attack, asthma and depression. Some of these health problems raise the risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to an article in Medical News Today, which cites research from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, “those who slept less than six hours per night had a 20 percent higher risk of a first heart attack in comparison to those who slept 6–9 hours. Those who slept more than nine hours had a 34 percent higher risk. The researchers also found that keeping sleep duration to 6–9 hours per night can reduce the risk of a first heart attack by 18 percent in those people with a ‘high genetic liability’ for developing heart disease.”

Quality, not just quantity

Dr. Shereif Rezkalla, a cardiologist at Marshfield Clinic Health System, said people who sleep a very short time at night, over a long period of time, are at higher risk of developing heart disease. He added that getting good quality sleep, and not just a certain number of hours, is important.

Many people struggle to get to sleep in the evening, which can affect how long they sleep and how well they sleep. There are several time-tested things you can do to relax and get to bed easier.

Rezkalla noted that, in addition to getting enough sleep, it’s important to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly to protect your heart. Quitting smoking is also critical to heart health.

If you have questions about your heart health, talk with your provider.

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  1. Avatar Jan 30, 2020

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