Sleep habits that increase your heart attack risk

Looking for a simple way to reduce your risk of heart disease?

How about sleeping more? Or sleeping less, depending on your current sleep habits?

Now, you wouldn’t think that sleeping too much or too little would be that hard on your heart… but it is.

Sleeping the wrong amount can significantly increase your odds of having a heart attack and dying from cardiovascular disease in the next ten to twenty years.

So, just like you exercise daily and eat healthy to prevent yourself from having a heart attack, you should optimize your sleep habits for better heart health too.

That means you need to ask yourself…

  • Are you sleeping just the right amount to keep your heart healthy?
  • Or are your sleep habits increasing your chance of deadly heart disease down the line?

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How sleep habits help or harm your heart

A recent study from researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden found that sleeping less than five hours per night significantly increases your odds of having serious heart problems.

The study included 798 50-year-old men who were divided into groups based on how much they slept per night: five or fewer hours, six hours, or seven to eight hours. And 21 years later, here’s what researchers discovered…

Men who slept five hours or less per night were double as likely to have a major cardiovascular event by the time they were 71 than men who maintained normal sleep habits. These cardiovascular events included:

  • Heart attacks,
  • Strokes,
  • Hospitalization due to heart failure,
  • Coronary revascularization,
  • And death from cardiovascular disease.

So, all super serious stuff!

Another recent research review of 11 studies came to a similar conclusion… sleeping too little is terrible for your heart. But this review also found that sleeping too much isn’t great for your heart either.

The review showed that short and long sleepers were both more likely to die from coronary artery disease or stroke. In fact, short sleepers increased their cardiovascular disease risk by 11 percent…but long sleepers really did a number on their heart. They increased their cardiovascular disease risk by 33 percent.

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Is there a sleep sweet spot?

How much do you need to sleep to avoid these heart health pitfalls?

Well, based on both studies, the sleep sweet spot seems to be between six and eight hours per night. If you’re getting less or more than that nightly, you’re probably not doing your heart any favors.

Changing sleep habits can be hard… especially if you’ve been sleeping a certain way for a long time. But once you know what’s at stake (your life), hopefully, you can motivate yourself to set that alarm for one hour earlier or head to bed a little sooner.

If insomnia is getting in the way of a goodnight’s sleep, there are a few things you can try, like:

  • Medical marijuana. Research shows it’s incredibly effective at fixing sleep troubles. One study found it improved sleep for 95.9 percent of people who tried it.
  • Ashwagandha. This popular ayurvedic herb has been used to fight insomnia for centuries. But beware…in rare cases it makes insomnia worse. So, if you notice a negative impact on your sleep cycle, stop taking it immediately.
  • Tibetan yoga. Research shows a Tibetan yoga practice that includes breathing, visualization, meditation and yoga postures can improve sleep quality and prevent sleep disturbances.
  • Acupuncture. Several studies show that acupuncture is more effective than prescription sleep medications.

Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!


Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine,, and