Good Sleep Protects Against Heart Disease

Anew study claims that a good night’s sleep can increase the benefit of exercise, healthy diet, moderate alcohol consumption and nonsmoking in their protection against cardiovascular disease (CVD). According to results of a large population follow-up study, it showed that the combination of the four traditional healthy lifestyle habits was associated with a 57 per cent lower risk of cardiovascular disease (fatal and non-fatal) and a 67 per cent lower risk of fatal events.

But, when “sufficient sleep” (defined as seven or more hours a night) was added to the other four lifestyle factors, the overall protective benefit was even further increased – and resulted in a 65 percent lower risk of composite CVD and a 83 per cent lower risk of fatal events.

“If all participants adhered to all five healthy lifestyle factors, 36 per cent of composite CVD and 57 per cent of fatal CVD could theoretically be prevented or postponed,” the authors said. “The public health impact of sufficient sleep duration, in addition to the traditional healthy lifestyle factors, could be substantial,” they said.

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