This sleep disorder increases the risk of cardiovascular disease in women by 75%

This sleep disorder increases the risk of cardiovascular disease in women by 75%

Do you suffer from sleep disorders, with difficulty sleeping more than a few hours each night without waking up? Please note, according to the results of a new study, people suffering from chronic insomnia also have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

Sleeping well is essential, because sleep allows – among other things – the regeneration of our cells and ensures our physical and mental health. This is why suffering from insomnia, chronically, leads to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease later in life. In any case, this is the conclusion of a study carried out by American scientists.

A study focusing on cardiovascular pathologies and sleep

For this study, scientists brought together a cohort of 2,964 women aged 42 to 52, in premenopause or recently menopausal, without hormone replacement therapy and without known heart disease. Followed for more than 22 years, the participants made up to 16 visits to the scientists during which they completed questionnaires about their sleep habits, including their insomnia and their overall sleep time.

Other symptoms, such as hot flashes, but also their possible mental health problems, such as depression, had to be declared. The survey also included questions about their anthropometric measurements, such as height and weight, blood tests performed and any possible cardiovascular pathologies they may have had such as a myocardial infarction, stroke or the development of heart disease. heart failure.

Sleeping less than 5 hours per night is a risk

Results: After studying the data, scientists concluded that 7% of women reported symptoms of insomnia and short sleep duration. Concerning the duration of sleep itself:

  • 15% reported a sleep duration of less than six hours per night;
  • 55%, a duration of six hours per night;
  • and 30% lasting seven hours or more per night.

According to experts, these women who suffer from chronic insomnia or who sleep less than 5 hours per night have a 75% higher risk of heart disease. Specifically, regularly sleeping less than seven hours a night, waking up too early in the morning or throughout the night can increase a person’s future risk of stroke and myocardial infarction, researchers say.

Sleep quality linked to cardiovascular health

With this work, researchers highlight the impact of long-term sleep problems on women’s heart health. “Poor sleep likely negatively impacts heart health through a combination of mechanisms, such as increased sympathetic nervous system activity, dysregulation of autonomic nervous system activity, and increased systemic inflammation” says Dr. Cheng-Han Chen, interventional cardiologist and medical director of the Structural Heart Program at Memorialcare Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills, California.

Poor sleep quality is associated with an increased risk of hypertension and insulin resistance, both risk factors for heart disease.

Consult a doctor online for your sleep problems

How to sleep well?

To sleep well, here are some health and diet rules to put in place as a first step.

  • Sleep in a cool, dark and quiet room, without visual or sound disturbances;
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol during the day;
  • Exercise and expose yourself to natural light during the day;
  • Eat light in the evening;
  • Stop using screens an hour before bed and choose a calm activity, such as reading, listening to a podcast or meditation for example.

If these tips, implemented diligently, do not work, consult your doctor, who can refer you to cognitive-behavioral therapy, in order to regulate your sleep cycles.