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Poor Sleep Patterns Linked To Higher Risk Of Heart Diseases

First Posted: May 25, 2017 05:42 AM EDT
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A Liberal Democrat conference attendee sleeps in the conference center.
(Photo : Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

In this day and age, it seems that people are always busy and on-the-go. Some say that they can sleep when they are dead. But as it turns out, those who do sleep longer also live longer than those who refuse to sleep as a way to seize the day.

According to Philly.com, getting less than six hours of sleep a night can double the odds of a person dying from heart disease or stroke, especially those who already have the risk factors for such diseases, as well as diabetes.

The metabolic sydrome, as it is called, has a cluster of risk factors that include high blood pressure, high levels of bad cholesterol, high blood sugar, obesity, high levels of triglycerides and low levels of good cholesterol. A person with at least three of these conditions are said to have metabolic sydrome and are in danger of getting heart disease.

Study lead researcher Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, a sleep psychologist at the Sleep Research and Treatment Center at Penn State's Mileton S. Hershey Medical Center said, "It is possible that improving sleep in people with metabolic syndrome may lead to a better prognosis, which means not worsening into cardiovascular disease or stroke that could ultimately lead to early death."

However, he also cautioned that the study did not prove that people with metabolic syndrome who get too little sleep could actually die from heart disease or stroke. He stressed, however, that an association may exist. Even with the possible association, other factors also needed to be considered.

"From a behavioral, lifestyle standpoint, it could be that those people with metabolic syndrome and short sleep also are more sedentary and have poorer diet, two factors which we could not account for in our study," Fernandez-Mendoza shared. That being said, it would still do most people good to get enough hours of sleep at night.

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