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Why a Good Night’s Sleep May be Good for the Heart

Woman asleep in bed

Bucket this one under “more reasons to prioritize good sleep,” but here is one more study adding to the body of evidence that a restful night plays an important role in our overall health.

Recent research out of Tulane University in New Orleans analyzed data tracking more than 400,000 Britons between 37 and 73 years old over 10 years to determine whether a good night’s rest played a role in heart health.

The study indeed established a link between sleeping well and a reduced risk of heart failure by more than 40 per cent. 

Related: 9 reasons you can never get enough sleep.

Researchers compared self-reported sleep quality and duration with the subjects’ history of heart issues. Assigning a “sleep score” for 5 common sleep behaviours (sleep duration, insomnia, snoring, being an early bird or a night owl, and daytime sleepiness), the researchers were able to spot a pattern emerging from the data: 

  • Early risers had an 8 per cent lower risk of heart failure
  • Getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night lowered the same risk by 12 per cent 
  • Not having insomnia reduced heart failure by 17 per cent 
  • Heart failure was 34 per cent lower in people who experienced no daytime sleepiness  

Over the 10-year period, there were 5,221 reported cases of heart failure. 

In Canada, about 1 in 12 adults over the age of 20 live with a diagnosed heart disease. 

Related: This sleep aid may actually be doing more harm than good

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