While I promote keeping your body moving and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, it is nevertheless true that when it comes to resting, we need our sleep.
Nine in ten people do not get a good night’s sleep, according to research presented at ESC Congress 2022. The study found that sub-optimal sleep was associated with a higher likelihood of heart disease and stroke. The authors estimated that seven in ten of these cardiovascular conditions could be prevented if everyone were a good sleeper.
“The low prevalence of good sleepers was expected given our busy, 24/7 lives,” said study author Dr. Aboubakari Nambiema of INSERM (the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research), Paris, France. “The importance of sleep quality and quantity for heart health should be taught early in life when healthy behaviors become established. Minimizing night-time noise and stress at work can both help improve sleep.”
Previous studies on sleep and heart disease have generally focused on one sleep habit, such as sleep duration or sleep apnea, where breathing stops and starts while sleeping. In addition, prior studies have often assessed sleep at baseline only. The current study used a healthy sleep score combining five sleep habits. The researchers investigated the association between the baseline sleep score, and changes over time in the sleep score, and incident cardiovascular disease.