While six hours of sleep is considered adequate for adults, a new study revealed that increasing the sleep duration can aid in the reduction of cardiometabolic risk or the risk of heart disease and metabolic disorders.
The study published in the Journal of Sleep Research included seven studies that aimed to increase sleep duration in adults by any sleep extension intervention. The study incorporated a total of 138 participants who were either healthy, healthy but getting a short-sleep, overweight and getting a short-sleep, or pre or hypertensive short-sleeping individuals.
The duration of the sleep extension interventions ranged from three days to six weeks and all successfully increased total sleep time by between 21 and 177 minutes. The findings from the study indicated that an extension in sleep was associated with improved measures of insulin sensitivity and reductions in overall appetite, desire for sweet and salty foods, intake of daily free sugar, and percentage of daily caloric intake from protein.
"Given the overwhelming evidence that sleeping less than seven hours is associated with an increased cardiometabolic risk, it is surprising that so few studies have explored whether extending sleep duration can lower cardiometabolic risk," said lead author Rob Henst.
"Although we have focused on studies with sleep extension interventions in this review, it is now apparent that poor sleep quality may be an equally important risk factor for cardiometabolic disease," added senior author Dr Dale Rae. "Thus future studies testing interventions aimed at improving sleep quality are also required.