Sleep Levels Linked to Coronary Artery Disease

Reading Level: Leisurely

The results of a new study showed that people in their 30’s and 40’s with a lack of sleep were more likely to develop early buildup of plaque in the heart’s arteries.

This study is the first of its kind, linking the duration of a person’s sleep to the risk of coronary artery disease. CT scans were done to measure the calcification levels in the arteries. Other known risk factors for heart disease were also taken into consideration, such as sleep apnea, cholesterol, blood pressure, body weight, and depression.

The study was done at the University of Chicago’ Department of Health Studies for 5 years on 495 healthy people between 35 and 47 who did not have artery disease.

Various sleep levels less than 7 hours a night all showed corresponding increased risk.

Of those who slept at least 7 hours, only 6% developed calcification in the heart’s arteries. Those who slept between 5 and 7 hours increased in calcification to 11%. People who consistently slept less than 5 hours a night showed an alarming 27% increase in calcification and the risk levels of coronary artery disease.

Increasing your sleep is as important in lowering your risk as lowering your blood pressure.

Only 1 extra hour of sleep a night had an amazing effect of lowering one’s risk of coronary artery disease the same amount as when one lowers his blood pressure by 16.5 points. (1)

Read more on healing from a good night’s sleep and how to sleep well:

Achieving Deep Sleep

Healing as Near as Your Pillow

Sleep Disruption and Re-Setting Your Biological Clock

Weight Loss Through A Good Night’s Sleep

(1) Study published in Dec. 24, 2008 issue of the Journal of American Medical Association.

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