The Magic 7!
I used to think that 8 hours sleep was the magic number! Ooh, if I get my 8 hours my skin will be lovely, and my attention span will be on flying form. Now that's not to say of course that I do ever get 8 hours, if I'm honest it's 6.5-7 in the week and I manage to get maybe 9 at weekends. Anyway according to a study of over 30,000 adults, by researchers at West Virginia University’s (WVU) faculty of medicine, 7 hours of sleep is the magic number!
People who sleep for less than seven hours a day, including naps, are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Whilst those sleeping fewer than five hours a day, including naps, more than double the risk of angina, heart attack, or stroke. Those at the highest risk are the over 60s, but it's good to get into good habits now I feel!
The study also found that those sleeping for more than seven hours, also increased the risk of cardiovascular disease, with those who slept for nine hours or longer being one-and-a half times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those who slept for seven hours.
Whilst the authors of the study were unable to determine the causal relationship between length of sleep and the risk of cardiovascular disease, they did point out that lack of sleep affects endocrine and metabolic function, as well as causing high blood pressure, impaired glucose tolerance and reduced insulin sensitivity. These can all lead to hardening of the arteries and thus cardiovascular disease.
Remember, sleep is the time during which your body really reaps the benefits of all of your hard work. Little time to grow and repair, means problems in the future.