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Day 11: Get a Good Night's Sleep

Sleep and Cardiovascular Disease

Lack of sleep or short duration sleep, sleep apnea and other sleep problems have been associated with increased cardiovascular disease. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health, in a study of over 5,500 men and women, those sleeping less than six hours per night were 66% more likely to have hypertension than individuals who got seven to eight hours per night. The American Heart Association recommends seven to nine hours of sleep; variance in this sleep pattern has been linked with obesity, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.

How does sleep deprivation impact blood pressure?

Several studies have found that sleep deprivation leads to increased blood pressure. Harvard Medical School sleep research showed higher levels of stress hormones and inflammation in sleep-deprived participants. Both of these indicators are prevalent in cardiovascular disease. Getting only half a night’s sleep has been reported to increase blood pressure in participants with hypertension or pre-hypertension. Also, people who are sleep deprived have slower metabolism and typically more difficulty losing weight. This can also lead to decreased interest in exercise, which can increase their risk for heart disease.

So is more sleep even better?

Too much of a good thing, might not be such a good thing either. Studies on people who sleep more than nine hours have shown an increased risk for chronic health conditions.

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