ScienceHow too little and too long sleep increase the...

How too little and too long sleep increase the chances of a Heart attack?


According to the new research conducted by scientists of the United Kingdom and the United States, it was found that sleep duration can seriously influence a person’s risk of heart attack, despite other heart risk factors.

In the latest Journal of the American College of Cardiology paper, scientists explain how they test sleeping habits and medical records of 461,347 people of the United Kingdom, aged 40-60 years.

The reports came after analysis include information about how many hours people habitually sleep every night and health data covering 7 years. It also contains information about tests for risk genes.

The survey declares that people who slept more than 9 hours per night had a 34% higher risk of a heart attack. While those who slept less than 6 hours had a 20% of chances of first heart attack as compared to those who slept 6-9 hours.

Scientists also analyzed that keeping a quiet and sound sleep of 6-9 hours per night can decrease the risk of first heart attack by 18% in those people with a high genetic liability for developing heart disease.

Celine Vetter, the assistant professor of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado presents some strong proof that shows “how sleep duration is an important factor when it comes to health issues”.

How sleep duration affects the heart?

Several studies have been conducted to find out the link between sleep duration and heart issues. But the correct reason behind this cause is not revealed yet.

It is observed that several factors affect heart health and sleep, but it is not easy to figure out whether less sleep will make heart conditions poor or poor health condition cause less sleep.

Professor Celine Vetter and her colleagues will solve this mystery. Through the vast number of research on individuals and genetic research, they concluded that there are approximately 30 reasons that affect sleep and heart health. Some of them are smoking, drinking, education, income, physical activity, body composition, and mental health.

Scientist’s analysis shows that sleep duration is the major or we can say an independent factor for heart attack. Researchers also find out that person who slept only 5 hours in a day had 52% chances of the first attack and those who slept more than 10 hours had double the risk.

A study conducted based on gene variants for short sleep

Professor Vetter and his team also use Mendelian Randomization (MR) method to validate that short sleep is the major factor for heart attack.

MR method reveals that person with gene variants that predisposed them to short sleep had high chances of a heart attack.

Some recommendations for good sleep

As per the analysis, more than one-third of US adults sleep less than seven hours per night. Therefore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend some tips for good sleep.

  • Wake you early and get natural light
  • Every day, go to bed and rise at the same time, even on the weekend
  • Avoid using mobile phones, laptops or any other source of artificial light, before going to sleep
  • Make a routine of exercise daily
  • Avoid bedtime exercising
  • Avoid drinking and eating before going to bed- especially alcohol
  • Consult a doctor or take medical advice, if condition degrades


By this research and analysis, Professor Celina Vetter and her colleagues want to raise awareness among public and doctors about the serious impact of short and long sleep on heart health.  They say that a night of good sleep and proper eating is the only way to get ourselves away from heart problems.

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