Sleep deprivation increases risk of heart attack

Scientists have discovered that a combination of going to bed late and waking up early increases your chance of heart disease by a shocking 48%

For many of us there just aren’t enough hours in the day, but scientists are urging people to find time for sleep, claiming that less than six hours a night greatly increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Experts warn those who have a tendency to stay up in order to tick more items off the ‘to-do list’ are at higher risk of suffering a heart attack than those who regularly get a good night’s rest.

But retreating under the duvet for hours on end is not a cure either as research suggests sleeping for more than nine hours a night could be an early warning sign of heart disease.

Professor Francesco Cappuccio from the University of Warwick Medical School says: ‘If you sleep less than six hours per night and have disturbed sleep you stand a 48% greater chance of developing or dying from heart disease and a 15% greater chance of developing or dying of a stroke.’

Despite the recommendation of at least six to seven hours sleep a night, 60% of us do not think we are sleeping enough, with a third suffering from insomnia according to findings published in the European Heart Journal.

Scientists believe our ‘work hard-play hard’ society is causing us to jeopardize our health. ‘The trend for late nights and early mornings is actually a ticking timebomb for our health so you need to act now to reduce your risk of developing these life-threatening conditions,’ says Professor Cappuccio.

‘The whole work-life balance struggle is causing too many of us to trade in precious sleeping time,’ he says.

Co-researcher Dr Michelle Miller says: ‘Chronic short sleep produces hormones and chemicals in the body which also increase the risk of developing high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes and obesity.’

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