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

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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.

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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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