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Why Poor Sleep is as Bad as Smoking and Poor Diet for Your Heart’s Health

July 2015 lack.jpgScientists have shown yet another reason why you shouldn’t let anything get between you and a great night’s sleep – it might just save your life.

As part of a World Health Organisation study into trends and causes behind heart disease, figures have revealed a strong correlation between people suffering heart attacks and strokes, and also suffering from sleep disorders.

The research was carried out by Professor Valery Gafarov of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and immediately made headlines around the world when it was released to the official EuroHeartCare meeting held in Croatia in June.

“Poor sleep may double risk of heart attack, stroke in men” screamed the Financial Express while the UK’s Express warned “A bad night’s sleep could be as dangerous as SMOKING”.

Now Bedpost isn’t going to claim that a great mattress is going to solve the varied issues which can lead to sleep disorders – but the shocking figures unveiled by Professor Gafarov make you realise the importance of choosing a bed and mattress which helps you sleep rather than keeping you tossing and turning all night.

The study of 657 men aged 25 to 64 years with no history of heart attack, stroke or diabetes assessed their quality of sleep over 14 years beginning in 1994.

During the study period, nearly two-thirds (63%) of participants who had a heart attack also had a sleeping disorder. Sleeping disorders are already closely associated with anxiety, depression, hostility and vital exhaustion, but the study also showed that men with a sleeping disorder had a risk of myocardial infarction that was 2 to 2.6 times higher and a stroke risk that was 1.5 to 4 times higher than those without a sleeping disorder between 5 and 14 years of follow up.

This was enough for Professor Gafarov to make his bold statements.

"Mortality from cardiovascular diseases accounts for nearly 50% of the total mortality among the population. Nearly 80% of deaths from cardiovascular disease are due to myocardial infarction (heart attack) and stroke. It means that today we are talking about an epidemic of cardiovascular disease. It is therefore necessary to engage in intensive prevention of risk factors leading to the development of cardiovascular diseases,” he said.

“Sleep is not a trivial issue. In our study it was associated with double the risk of a heart attack and up to four times the risk of stroke. Poor sleep should be considered a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease along with smoking, lack of exercise and poor diet. Guidelines should add sleep as a risk factor to recommendations for preventing cardiovascular disease.”

  • If you think that a poor night’s sleep is affecting your health contact Bedpost on 0800 233767 or via our website and arrange to “test-sleep” our latest makes and models.