Greek doctor reveals how many hours sleep to get each night for a healthy heart

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A new study has revealed that six to eight hours of sleep a night is most beneficial for the heart. Any more or any less increases the risk of coronary artery disease or a stroke.

The research was presented by study author Dr. Epameinondas Fountas, of the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre in Athens at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Munich, Germany.

The study analysed data from more than one million adults, showing that "short sleepers" had an 11% greater risk of developing or dying from coronary artery disease or a stroke, while "long sleepers" had a 33% increased risk over the next nine years.

Dr. Epameinondas Fountas said that the findings "suggest that too much or too little sleep may be bad for the heart." More research needs to be undertaken to clarify why this, "but we do know that sleep influences biological processes like glucose metabolism, blood pressure, and inflammations – all of which have an impact on cardiovascular disease," Dr. Fountas added.

He also made it clear that "having the odd short night or lie-in is unlikely to be detrimental to health, but evidence is accumulating that prolonged nightly sleep deprivation or excessive sleeping should be avoided."