A new study has suggested that there is a connection between how much sleep most people get each night , how well they sleep and how they develop the risk of cardiovascular problems .
The researchers from the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III in Madrid, Spain , and Tufts University, Massachusetts , United States , established a link between the quality of sleep and the risk of atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis refers to a buildup of fats , cholesterol and other substances in and on the artery walls, which can restrict blood flow .
The senior author of the study , Dr José Ordovás , said, “ Cardiovascular disease is a major global problem and we are preventing and treating it by using several approaches, including drugs , physical activity and diet .
“But this study emphasises that we have to include sleep as one of the weapons that we use to fight heart disease , a factor we are compromising every day . ”
According to Medical News Today , the research team ’ s findings , published in the
Journal of the American College of Cardiology , analysed the medical data of 3 , 974 individuals who averaged 46 years of age , were based in Spain , and who took part in the progression of early subclinical atherosclerosis study .
The study found that after the exclusion of other risk factors for heart disease , participants who slept under six hours every night had a 27 per cent increase in the risk for atherosclerosis when the researchers compared them with people who slept between seven and eight hours each night .
The researchers noted that poor sleep quality, for instance , waking up often during the night was associated with increased atherosclerosis risk by 34 per cent .
The Editor – in -Chief of the journal, Dr Valentin Fuster, said it was important to realise that a good night ’ s sleep could overcome the detrimental effects of the shorter length .
The study , however , found some evidence that people who slept more than eight hours per night , especially women , had a heightened risk of atherosclerosis .
The researchers also noted that the study participants, who reported getting less sleep each night were more likely to drink more caffeinated and alcoholic drinks .
Ordovás explained that , “ Many people think alcohol is a good inducer of sleep , but there ’ s a rebound effect . You may wake up after a short period of sleep and have a hard time getting back to sleep . And if you do get back to sleep , it ’ s often a poor-quality sleep . ”
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