People could be at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease in
later life if they do not get enough good quality sleep when they
This is according to a study published in the Canadian Medical
Association Journal, which looked at the link between poor slumber
and heart problems.
It is estimated that 20 per cent of young people have serious
sleep problems, which are categorised as constantly waking up
during the night, waking up early in the morning, being unable to
fall asleep within 30 minutes of going to bed and suffering from bad dreams.
Some 4,104 adolescents took part in the Healthy Heart Schools'
Program in Ontario, Canada and researchers looked for a link
between poor sleep and cardiovascular disease risk indicators, such
as high cholesterol levels, high BMI, a poor diet and high blood
It was found that participants typically achieved 7.9 hours of
sleep on weeknights and 9.4 hours at the weekend. Of those
questioned, 19.6 per cent deemed their slumber during the week to
be of a poor quality, with 5.9 per cent resorting to medication in
an effort to help them drift off.
Dr Indra Narang, director of sleep medicine at The Hospital for
Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto,
Ontario, said: "We found an association between sleep disturbance
and cardiovascular risk in adolescents, as determined by high
cholesterol levels, increased BMI and hypertension.
"These findings are important, given that sleep disturbance is
highly prevalent in adolescence and that cardiovascular disease
risk factors track from childhood into adulthood."
Dr Brian McCrindle, senior author and cardiologist at SickKids,
added previous studies have highlighted the link between poor sleep
and school performance. Because of this, parents may want to
monitor the caffeine intake and bedtimes of their children.
If mums and dads want to create a relaxing bedroom environment for
offspring, then the purchase of a new mattress is one option. This move
should be considered at least every seven years in an effort to
offer them top quality comfort.
Posted by Elizabeth Mewes