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Study: Proper sleep reduces the risk of heart disease


One study concluded that suboptimal sleep is associated with high risk of heart disease and stroke, and that good sleep contributes to the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Study author Dr. Aboubakari Nampima of INSERM (French National Institute for Health and Medical Research) in France said: 

"The low prevalence of good sleep was expected due to our busy 24/7 life, and the importance of quality and quantity of sleep for heart health should be taught early in life when healthy behaviors are established, and reducing noise during the night and stress can help to improve sleep."

Previous studies on sleep and heart disease in general focused on a single sleep habit, such as sleep duration or sleep apnea, where breathing stops and starts during sleep, in addition to which previous studies often evaluated sleep only at baseline.

The current study used a healthy sleep score of five sleep habits, and researchers investigated the relationship between the basic sleep score, changes over time in sleep score, and cardiovascular disease.

The study included 7,200 participants in the third future Paris study (PPP3)

  1. an observational community-based group
  2. and men and women aged 50 to 75 years
  3. and free of cardiovascular disease were recruited into
  4. a preventive medical center between 2008 and 2011

with an average age of 59.7 years and 62% men. Participants underwent a physical examination and completed questionnaires on lifestyle, personal and family medical history and medical conditions.

The questionnaires were used to gather information on five sleeping habits basically and two follow-up visits, each factor being given one point if optimal and 0 if not. A healthy sleep score of 0 to 5 was calculated, with 0 or 1 considered weak and 5 considered optimal.

Those with a perfect score reported that they slept from 7 to 8 hours each night, never experienced insomnia or rarely, did not suffer from repeated excessive drowsiness during the day, did not stop sleep breathing, and an early chronotype (being a morning person). Researchers examined coronary heart disease and stroke every two years for a total of 10 years.

10% of participants received a perfect sleep score and 8% had poor marks. During an eight-year follow-up, 274 participants developed coronary heart disease or stroke.

  • Researchers analyzed the relationship between sleep scores and cardiovascular events after adjusting age
  • sex, alcohol consumption, occupation, smoking, body mass index, physical activity, cholesterol level, diabetes
  • and family history of heart attacks, stroke or sudden cardiac death.

They found that the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke decreased by 22% per high sleep point at baseline. More specifically, compared to those with a score of 0 or 1, participants with a score of 5 were 75% less likely to develop heart disease or stroke.

Researchers estimated the proportion of cardiovascular events preventable by healthier sleep

and found that if all participants had an ideal sleep score, 72% of new cases of coronary heart disease and stroke could be avoided each year.

Dr Nampima said: 

"Our study demonstrates the potential for good sleep to maintain heart health and suggests that improved sleep is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. And we also found that the vast majority of people have difficulties sleeping, Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and there is a need for greater awareness of the importance of good sleep for the maintenance of heart health ".