A new study has found that getting less than six hours of sleep a night could boost the risk of cardiovascular disease. Published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the study found that people who didn’t sleep at least six hours per night were 27 percent more likely to develop plaque buildup in their arteries.
The study’s senior author, José M. Ordovás, is a researcher at Madrid’s Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC). He said, “This study emphasizes we have to include sleep as one of the weapons we use to fight heart disease – a factor we are compromising every day.”
This is not the first study to correlate sleep and heart health, either. Three 2018 sleep studies, which were presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology, had similar results. These studies determined that people who slept less than six hours each night had a higher risk of developing or dying from coronary artery disease or stroke, that they had a better chance of developing cardiovascular disease and hardened arteries.
Moa Bengtsson, the author of one of the European studies, had dire news about these findings. “The magnitude of increased cardiovascular risk associated with insufficient sleep is similar to that of smoking or having diabetes at age 50.” If getting enough sleep wasn’t already a priority, it should be after reading this news.
Image credit: NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images