Is Sleeping Good for the Heart?

By | December 26, 2008

For those who are always looking for an excuse to sleep in, or sleep more, your search is not in vain: According to new Sleep Lossresearch, hours spent sleeping protects against calcium deposits in the coronary arteries — the deposits responsible for heart attacks.

A study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association by Christopher King and colleagues from the University of Chicago has found a relationship between sleep quantity (hours spent asleep) and calcium build up — or calcification — in the arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood.

For each additional hour of sleep, the risk of calcification of the coronary arteries decreased by 33 percent — an outcome equal to reducing blood pressure by 16 point elevations.  … This report focused on nearly 500 patients at the Chicago CARDIA site. – abcnews

Right, and for those who have been paying attention, there was this story in 2002:

Person asleepEight hours’ sleep a night has long been touted as the ideal length of time to spend under the duvet but new research suggests it could shorten your life.

A study that included more than a million participants found people who sleep eight hours or more died younger.

Those who only managed four or less hours in the land of nod were similarly affected but six or seven hours a night was found to be conducive to a longer life.

The research, carried out by scientists at the University of California, showed a clear association between long duration sleep and high mortality rates. … The US study showed that a group sleeping eight hours were 12% more likely to die within the six year period covered by the study than those sleeping seven hours.

The study, involving 1.1million people was the first large-scale population study of sleep to take into account variables such as age, diet, exercise, previous health problems and risk factors such as smoking.

The study also found that occasional bouts of insomnia were not linked to higher death rates.

However, it concluded that people who take sleeping pills are more likely to die earlier. – bbc

So,  which is it?  How long should we be sleeping? I’m sticking with 7 hours because that study had a larger sample size. I’m sleepy now. Hope you all had a nice X-Mas. – Xeno.

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