Sweet spot of sleep is 6-8 hours

How much sleep do you really need?

According to findings presented on Aug. 26 during the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Munich, Germany, a sweet spot of six to eight hours of sleep a night is most beneficial for heart health. More or less is detrimental.

The study, led by Dr. Epameinondas Fountas of the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre in Athens, Greece, investigated the relationship between sleep duration and cardiovascular disease. Groups with less than six hours and more than eight hours nightly sleep duration were compared with the reference group of six to eight hours sleep.

The researchers found that both short and long sleepers had a greater risk of developing or dying from coronary artery disease or stroke.

“Our findings suggest that too much or too little sleep may be bad for the heart,” Fountas said. “More research is needed to clarify exactly why, but we do know that sleep influences biological processes like glucose metabolism, blood pressure and inflammation – all of which have an impact on cardiovascular disease.”

The study was reported online by EurekAlert, the Global Source for Science News, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.