Sleeping less than six hours a night may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, the study

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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Sleeping too little puts us at greater risk of stroke and heart attack.

Don't store avocado like this: it's dangerous

Resting less than six hours a night can put heart health at risk: poor sleepers are 27% more likely to develop atherosclerosis, according to a new study.

Pay attention to the hours you dedicate to bedtime! If you don't get enough sleep, your heart could go haywire and put you at risk of cardiovascular disease.

This was stated in a study by the Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research in Madrid, which specifies how insufficient night rest is an important danger factor for vascular diseases such as stroke.

Sleeping more, therefore, not only makes us eat better but could save our lives.

According to Spanish scholars, people who sleep less than 6 hours a day incur a 35% increase in the risk of heart attack or stroke, mainly due to worse arterial health, which would be more rigid and tighter than those who sleep between 7 and 8 hours.

The study was conducted on about 4 thousand bank employees, with an average age of 46 and with no history of cardiovascular disease.

Each of the participants was equipped with an actigraph, which measured the duration and quality of sleep (how many nocturnal awakenings, movement during rest or other) and was subjected to 3-D scans to evaluate the progression of any cardiovascular disorders, divided into 4 groups, according to the hours of sleep assigned: less than 6 hours, from 6 to 7 hours, from 7 to 8, 8 or more.

The results showed that people who slept less than six hours a night were 27% more likely to develop atherosclerosis - a buildup of plaque in the arteries of the body - compared to those who slept between seven and eight hours of sleep.

"This study emphasizes that we need to include sleep as one of the weapons we use to fight heart disease - a factor we are compromising every day," explains study author José M. Ordovás, a researcher at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares in Madrid Carlos III.

Sleep quality is also important, the study said. Participants with poor sleep quality were 34 percent more likely to develop atherosclerosis than those who had a good night's rest.

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Germana Carillo

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