Sleeping more during weekends pose risk of heart disease

If you find yourself staying up late on the weekends and consequently getting up late, this may be cause for concern.

A recent study by University of Arizona researchers found that sleeping for extended periods of time on weekends may raise one’s risk of heart disease.

On weekends, you may experience a phenomena known as “social jet lag” where you sleep in later and wake up later. A study that was published in an online supplement of the journal Sleep found that social jet lag is linked to weariness, decreased mood, and worse health.

Scientists found that every hour of deviation from your normal sleep routine could increase your risk of heart disease by 11 percent. The research, led by senior author Michael A. Grandner, analyzed survey responses from 984 adults between the ages of 22 and 60. The survey involved questions about sleep habits, diet, and environment.

According to the study, every hour of social jet lag was associated with a 22.1 and 28.3 percent increase in the likelihood of having just “good” or “fair/poor” health, respectively, compared with “excellent” health.

Sleeping more during weekends pose risk of heart disease

“Results indicate that sleep regularity, beyond sleep duration alone, plays a significant role in our health,” lead author Sierra B. Forbush, an undergraduate research assistant in the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona in Tucson, said in a statement. “This suggests that a regular sleep schedule may be an effective, relatively simple and inexpensive preventative treatment for heart diseases as well as many other health problems.”

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommends adults should sleep for seven or more hours a day. It also recommends that young adults, people who are trying to recover from a “sleep debt,” and people who are ill, may all benefit from sleeping for longer than nine hours every day.

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Several studies over the past few years have shown a link between sleep deprivation and heart diseases.

Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, PhD, from the Sleep Research & Treatment Center, Penn State University College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania, told Medscape Medical News Monday that risk for death associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cerebrovascular disease (CBV) is significantly increased in adults who get fewer than six hours of sleep a night.

“We found that the risk of mortality associated with CVD and stroke was enhanced in those who slept less than six hours in the lab; specifically, their risk of mortality was 1.8-fold and 2.4-fold, respectively. In contrast, in individuals who slept more than six hours in the lab, the risk of mortality associated with CVD or stroke was not significantly increased,” Fernandez-Mendoza said.

A 2013 study also revealed people who tend to get less than six hours of sleep every night were more likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and to be obese.


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