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Optimum sleep duration measured

Wednesday December 5th, 2018

Getting regular sleep of six to eight hours a night appears to be most beneficial for an individual’s risk of mortality and cardiovascular disease, according to a new analysis.

A research team led by PhD student Chuangshi Wang at McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, investigated the impact on the heart of night-time sleep duration and daytime naps.

They used self-reported sleep reports from 116,632 participants living in seven regions of the world. About eight years later, an increased risk of mortality and cardiovascular disease was seen for those who slept for less than six hours or more than eight hours.

As estimated sleep duration increased, the team noticed a significant trend for a greater risk of mortality and cardiovascular disease - 5% higher for eight to nine hours, 17% higher for nine to ten hours, and 41% for more than ten hours.

The team add: "Daytime nap duration was associated with an increased risk of the composite events (mortality and cardiovascular disease) in those with over six hours of nocturnal sleep duration, but not in shorter nocturnal sleepers.”

Details are published in The European Heart Journal today (5 December). Mr Wang said: “Our study shows that the optimal duration of estimated sleep is six to eight hours per day for adults.

"Given that this is an observational study that can only show an association rather than proving a causal relationship, we cannot say that too much sleep per se causes cardiovascular diseases. However, too little sleep could be an underlying contributor to death and cases of cardiovascular disease, and too much sleep may indicate underlying conditions that increase risk.”

Wang, C. et al. Association of estimated sleep duration and naps with mortality and cardiovascular events: a study of 116,632 people from 21 countries. European Heart Journal 5 December 2018 doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehy695

Tags: Heart Health | North America

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