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Healthy sleep patterns good for your heart: study

Photo: Adene Sanchez/iStockphoto

New Orleans — Healthy sleep patterns – including rising in the morning; getting between seven and eight hours of sleep every night; and having no insomnia, snoring or excessive daytime sleepiness – could cut your risk of heart failure nearly in half, say researchers at Tulane University.

The researchers reviewed UK Biobank data for 408,802 participants ages 37 to 73 and examined their sleep patterns. Sleep behaviors, which were self-reported, were categorized as short (less than seven hours a night), recommended (seven to eight hours a night) and prolonged (nine or more hours a night).

After a median follow-up of 10 years, the researchers identified 5,221 cases of heart failure among the participants.


The participants who had the healthiest sleep patterns had a 42% lower risk of heart failure, regardless of other risk factors, compared with those who had unhealthy sleep patterns. A look at individual sleep behaviors revealed that the risk of heart failure was lower among those who:

  • Didn’t have daytime sleepiness (34%)
  • Didn’t have frequent insomnia (17%)
  • Slept seven to eight hours a night (12%)
  • Were early risers (8%)

The study was published online Nov. 16 in the journal Circulation.

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