If you struggle to get quality sleep each night, it could hurt your heart. In a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers at the University of South Florida collected sleep data from almost 7,000 adults, as well as data about their history of heart disease. The researchers studied many aspects of sleep, like sleep duration, sleep regularity, alertness during waking hours, timing of sleep, and more. They found that each additional increase in self-reported sleep health problems was associated with a 54 percent increased risk of heart disease. But if you combine the sleep issues, the risk of heart disease can increase by as much as 141 percent. In addition to diet, exercise, smoking, and other lifestyle choices, sleep might be another area to improve to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.
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