A good night’s sleep of seven or more hours each night along with a healthy lifestyle could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, a Dutch study suggests.
Heart disease is one of the UK's biggest killers
The research concluded that whilst factors such as reducing alcohol-drinking, smoking, plenty of exercise and a healthy diet benefitted the heart, having enough sleep in addition to these also counted.
A team of scientists monitored heart disease and strokes in 14,000 men and women over a period of 10 years. All participants were aged 20-65 and had no previous history of cardiovascular disease.
During this time around 600 individuals had suffered some form of heart disease or stroke and 129 of these were fatal.
The study was published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology and has encouraged experts and the public to rethink how we sleep.
There is an open debate about how much sleep is the right amount for you with various theories suggested eight, six or even four as the optimal amount of sleep each night.
This study looked at the relation between the four traditional factors that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease – not smoking, moderate drinking, healthy diet and regular exercise – and sleeping patterns.
Managing to adhere to all four conditions was linked with a 57% lower risk of heart disease or stroke and a 67% lower risk from dying from cardiovascular disease.
The authors of the study said: “If all participants adhered to all five healthy lifestyle factors, 36% of composite cardiovascular disease and 57% of fatal cardiovascular disease could theoretically be prevented or postponed.”
Some health insurance policies can give you comprehensive heart care if you are particularly concerned about cardiovascular disease.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013