Make your home page

Podcasts > Medical Minutes with WISH-TV

Irregular sleep deadly for the heart

November 10, 2023

Lack of sleep is bad for health, but a recent Vanderbilt study shows chronically disrupted sleep can trigger heart disease and dementia, and that sleeping less than six hours a night increases heart attack risk by 20%.

Tossing and turning at night is more than just annoying. Poor sleep triggers cardiovascular issues by plugging arteries with dangerous plaque, and causing them to stiffen.

This causes fatty plaque buildup in arteries that can cause stroke. Simultaneously, blood pressure soars, oxygen goes down, and the body is prevented from cleansing and repairing itself.

The key to making this happen is getting good quality, consistent sleep, but many people suffer with irregular sleep patterns.

Sleep requirements vary by age, with infants needing 12 to 16 hours, and older adults only requiring seven, but an estimated 83,600,000 Americans sleep fewer than that. Factors like obesity, chronic illness, and location, can impact sleep.