Sleep Heart Health Study Results


Study Shows that Poor Sleep Leads to Plaque Buildup and Poor Cardiovascular Health

It makes sense, doesn’t it? A good night’s sleep is good for you-you to feel better, more rested. But now, a study is showing that a good night’s sleep means more for your health than you might have ever imagined.

According to a study from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, it’s thought that lower sleeping times – and fragmented sleep times, for that matter – are independently associated with an increased risk of subclinical multi-territory atherosclerotic plaque in the carotid.

In laymen’s terms, this means that poor, interrupted, and low-quality sleep has been linked to plaque buildup in the heart, negatively affecting a person’s cardiovascular health.



In this study, seven-day sleep recordings were performed on almost 4,000 patients. These patients were divided into separate groups, each characterized by sleep durations and fragmentations; very short durations (less than six hours), short sleep durations (six-seven hours), reference sleep durations (seven-eight hours), and long sleep duration (over eight hours).

What did this study deduce? 


In short, very short sleep duration was independently associated with a higher atherosclerotic burden. In other words, a link to plaque buildup in arteries was linked back to those who had the shortest sleep durations, supporting the theory that shorter, interrupted, lower-quality sleep durations tend to result in poorer cardiovascular health. We already know the relationship between sleep apnea and heart health, this study establishes the strong link between lack of sleep and heart health.

What Does this Mean for Your Health? 


As we stated above, irregular sleep, poor sleep, or infrequent sleep can lead to the increase in the development of plaque in your arteries in your heart, but more than that, this can lead to an increase in damaging plaque increases throughout your entire body.

The issue with an increase in plaque throughout your body (especially in your heart)? It dramatically reduces your health and puts you at extreme risk for dangerous, damaging health conditions and issues. For example, a buildup of plaque in your body can lead to issues with digestion, circulation problems, extremity pain, and even put you at increased risk for strokes and heart diseases. Further, lack of sleep can lead to issues like depression or anxiety, as well as play a huge role in diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

How You Can Sleep Better


The easiest fix here? Sleeping for longer, more uninterrupted periods of time. Note that there are far more factors that affect your heart health than just your sleep schedule, but it certainly can help better your overall health to promote better productive sleep.

Are you looking for ways to ensure you’ll sleep better? Try setting an alarm to remind yourself of when you should be getting to bed (and try to stick to it!). It helps to establish a set, bedtime routine to get your body regimented and prepared for a regulated sleep schedule. Still struggling to get better sleep? Try to implement healthy tricks like walking, biking, or aerobic exercise to improve the quality of your sleep, too!



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