The August edition of the journal Sleep has an article about the association of sleep duration and cardiovascular disease. It was based on a survey of over 30,000 Americans. The results showed that cardiovascular disease was more common in people who reported that they slept less than or greater than seven hours per night. These results were independent of age, sex, race, ethnicity, smoking, alcohol use, body mass index, physical activity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression.
The authors of the study did not determine the reason why sleep duration could affect cardiovascular disease, but they provided some theories. Hormonal and metabolic changes can occur in people who sleep less than seven hours, and these changes could impact cardiovascular health. People who sleep longer than seven hours could be sleeping that long due to an underlying sleep disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA can impact cardiovascular health in a negative way.
Getting seven hours of sleep each night may not prevent you from having a heart attack, but getting the right amount of sleep can be an important part of overall good health.