‘Healthy sleep habits associated with lower risk of heart failure’

‘Healthy sleep habits associated with lower risk of heart failure’

Adults with healthy sleep patterns had a 42 per cent lower risk of heart failure regardless of other factors when compared to those with unhealthy sleep patterns, according to a new study.

An observational research published in the American Heart Association’s flagship journal Circulation examined the relationship between healthy sleep patterns and heart failure. A total of 408,802 participants aged 37 to 73 at the time of recruitment (2006-2010) were monitored and the incidence of heart failure collected until April 1, 2019. Researchers recorded 5,221 cases of heart failure during a median follow-up of 10 years.

“The healthy sleep score we created was based on the scoring of five sleep behaviours. Our findings highlight the importance of improving overall sleep patterns to help prevent heart failure," said Lu Qi, corresponding author and professor of epidemiology and director of the Obesity Research Center at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Researchers analyzed sleep quality as well as overall sleep patterns. The measures of sleep quality included sleep duration, insomnia and snoring and other sleep-related features, such as whether the participant was an early bird or night owl and if they had any daytime sleepiness (likely to unintentionally doze off or fall asleep during the daytime).

Sleep behaviours were collected through touchscreen questionnaires. Sleep duration was defined into three groups: short, or less than 7 hours a day; recommended, or 7 to 8 hours a day; and prolonged, or 9 hours or more a day.

After adjusting for diabetes, hypertension, medication use, genetic variations and other covariates, participants with the healthiest sleep pattern had a 42% reduction in the risk of heart failure compared to people with an unhealthy sleep pattern.

Healthy sleep patterns include habits like rising in the morning, sleeping 7-8 hours a day and no excessive daytime sleepiness.

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