People who sleep either more or fewer than seven hours a day, including naps, have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a new study.
Sleeping fewer than five hours a day more than doubles your risk of being diagnosed with angina, coronary heart disease, heart attack or stroke. And sleeping more than seven hours also increases your risk of cardiovascular disease; more than nine hours of sleep results in a 50 percent increase in risk.
“The most at-risk group was adults under 60 years of age who slept five hours or fewer a night. They increased their risk of developing cardiovascular disease more than threefold … Women who skimped on sleep … were more than two-and-a-half times as likely to develop cardiovascular disease.”
In related news, researchers have also found that sleeping in after a few days of missed sleep can help restore you after missed sleep, nearly erasing any lingering sense of fatigue and mental fuzziness.
How much recovery sleep you need to feel recharged depends on how much sleep you’ve lost.
In the study, volunteers deprived of about three hours of sleep a night for five nights felt nearly, but not quite, back to normal after ten hours of sleep.
To help you get the optimal amount of sleep each night, U.S. News & World Report suggests:
“… [T]ry removing all electronic media devices — BlackBerry, TV, computer — from your bedroom. These distractions … are a prime reason many of us turn out the lights an hour or two later than we originally intended.”