According to Irishhealth.com, people who are often deprived of sleep or have disrupted sleep patterns may be at an increased risk of suffering serious health problems, including heart attacks and stroke, new evidence suggests.
Today’s economy has significant stress, loss of jobs, financial difficulty and this will have an effect on our sleep.
In a new job or in current times, people want to prove themselves and this can lead to working long hours.
Stress and worry for our job searchers can also reduce sleep drastically and leave our job seekers feeling exhausted which can be reflected at interview.
UK researchers looked at studies involving 470,000 people in eight countries, including the UK, Sweden and the US. They found that poor sleep can have serious, long-term health implications.
“If you sleep less than six hours per night and have disturbed sleep, you stand a 48% greater chance of developing or dying from heart disease and a 15% greater chance of developing or dying of a stroke,” explained lead researcher, Prof Francesco Cappuccio, of the University of Warwick.
He said that the current trend for late nights and early mornings ‘is actually a ticking time bomb for our health’ and advised people to ‘act now to reduce the risk of developing these life-threatening conditions’.
“There is an expectation in today’s society to fit more into our lives. The whole work/life balance struggle is causing too many of us to trade in precious sleeping time to ensure we complete all the jobs we believe are expected of us.
“But in doing so, we are significantly increasing the risk of suffering a stroke or developing cardiovascular disease resulting in, for example, heart attacks.”
The study pointed out that chronic short sleep produces hormones and chemicals in the body, which increase the risk of developing heart disease and strokes, as well as other conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.
However, Prof Cappuccio did warn of the implications of going too far the other way, as sleeping overly long – more than nine hours at a stretch – may also be an indicator of illness, including cardiovascular disease.
“By ensuring you have about seven hours sleep a night, you are protecting your future health and reducing the risk of developing chronic illnesses. The link is clear from our research – get the sleep you need to stay healthy and live longer,” he said.
Details of these findings are published in the European Heart Journal