You might think that those nights when you don’t get a wink of sleep can’t do you any harm apart from the frustration you feel knowing that you have to work the next day and you might be asleep at the wheel.
However, sleep disorders have been associated with many conditions that you might develop later on in life. There are studies proving that insomnia or very few hours of sleep per night are linked to memory loss or to strokes as you become older.
Thus, it was proved that people who have the tendency to sleep less than seven hours every day are more likely to suffer a stroke.
A new research now shows that fewer hours of sleep every night might also be a cause for heart attacks later on in life.
The study conducted by researchers at World Health Organization revealed that sleeping disorders are as bad for your heart as smoking or leading a sedentary life.
“Sleep is not a trivial issue. Sleeping disorders were associated with greatly increased incidences of both heart attack and stroke. Poor sleep should be considered a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease along with smoking, lack of exercise and poor diet,” said Professor Valery Gafarov.
He also added that a normal person should sleep between 7 and 8 hours every night and, if they don’t manage to do that, they should seek specialized help from a sleep doctor.
The study, which began in 1994, involved 657 men whose ages varied from 25 to 64 years old, from Russia. They had never suffered any heart attack or stroke and they did not have diabetes, which is a disease that can lead to these conditions.
Their sleep quality was rated according to the Jenkins Sleep Scale and it was regarded as either very bad, bad or poor for those who had a sleeping disorder.
They were monitored for heart attacks and strokes over the next 14 years and it was revealed that 63 percent of those who suffered a heart attack also suffered from a sleeping disorder.
Therefore, it was shown that people who had sleeping problems were more than 2 times more likely to have a heart attack and 1.5 to 4 times more at risk of having a stroke that those who had a normal sleep every night.
These findings are extremely worrying, given the fact that the mortality rate associated with heart attacks is extremely high. It was estimated that it represents half of the causes of death all over the world, making it the leading cause in many countries, including the U.S.
This is why preventive measures are extremely important. We need to sleep well, exercise regularly, avoid smoking and drinking alcohol, eat healthy food and maintain a normal body weight.
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