Getting the right amount of sleep is crucial to a person’s ability to function properly, and sleeping too little or too much has many health consequences. A scientific statement from the American Heart Association asks the question: could sleep disorders be linked to factors that increase the risk of heart disease?
An estimated 50-70 million people in the United States have ongoing sleep disorders, and 29.1 American adults report less than 7 hours of sleep.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society recommend that adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep per night to promote overall health. However, the American Heart Association does not have a recommendation on how much sleep is needed for cardiovascular wellness, as there is currently not enough scientific evidence to base a recommendation.
Excessive or insufficient sleep linked to heart disease
“We know that short sleep, usually defined as under 7 hours per night, overly long sleep, usually defined as more than 9 hours per night, and sleep disorders may increase some cardiovascular risk factors, but we don’t know if improving sleep quality reduces those risk factors,” says Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Ph.D., associate professor of nutritional medicine at Columbia University in New York City, and chair of the panel that reviewed the science behind sleep disorders and heart disease.