Healthy lifestyles boosted by a good night’s sleep

4 July 2013

A healthy lifestyle is vital in preventing heart problems, but a good night’s sleep can boost the positive effects even further.

According to a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, exercise, moderate alcohol consumption, a healthy diet and choosing not to smoke all cut deaths from strokes or heart disease.

Carrying out all four of these behaviours cut the risk of cardiovascular disease by 57 per cent, while the chances of dying from any single fatal event, such as a stroke, fell by nearly two-thirds.

However, the risks were reduced even further by having seven or more hours’ sleep every night as well. The risk of cardiovascular disease dropped by 65 per cent, while patients became 83 per cent less likely to die from a fatal event.

Professor Grethe S Tell of the University of Bergen, Norway, says that citizens should be encouraged to get the right amount of sleep as a matter of public health.

But Doireann Maddock, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said that people who had trouble sleeping did not need to be concerned.

“This study doesn’t mean sleepless nights cause heart disease,” she said, adding that that further research is needed.

Posted by Philip Briggs

 

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