Maintaining a healthy heart is all about getting the right
balance of sleep, according to a study from the US, with too much
or too little sleep linked to heart problems.


The studies are based on a nationally representative sample of
3,000 people, and look to build on previous studies that used only
small groups of people. The participants, surveyed in the National
Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, were tested for five
separate heart ailments and the links they had to sleep
duration.


People over the age of 45 were primary test subjects, as their age
demographic is most likely to experience adverse health effects
from sleep woes. The subjects were asked to describe their sleep
patterns and also quizzed on their heart health. It found that
people who got too little sleep were twice as likely to have a
stroke or heart attack, and 1.6 times more likely to suffer from
congestive heart failure than people who maintained healthy sleep
patterns of between six and eight hours.


Rohit Arora, chairman of cardiology and professor of medicine, the
Chicago Medical School said: "We now have an indication that sleep
can impact heart health, and it should be a priority.


"Based on these findings, it seems getting six to eight hours of
sleep everyday probably confers the least risk for cardiovascular
disease over the long term."


The results add to a number of studies that suggest irregular
sleep patterns can have serious health implications. It can also
lead to lapses in concentration and general grogginess in the
day.


Getting back in sync with your body's natural sleep-wake
cycle-your circadian rhythm assures that you get the right amount
of sleep at night. To achieve this, set a regular bedtime and stick
to it throughout the week and at weekends. If you lose sleep time,
nap during the day to make up for what you lost out on. This
shouldn't be too close to bedtime, and it is important to fight
after-dinner drowsiness.


Posted by Elizabeth MewesADNFCR-1744-ID-801325883-ADNFCR