When it comes to how much sleep you get a day, seven hours is the dream amount.
That’s according to scientists who say too little or too much kip greatly increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes.
People who sleep for five hours or less are twice as likely to be affected by the conditions than those who get seven hours.
Even those who manage eight hours were found to be more at risk of heart disease.
The average person in Britain snoozes for just six hours a night and the scientists say skimping on sleep raises blood pressure and reduces glucose tolerance, which both increase the chances of artery damage. People who sleep for long periods may be suffering from breathing disorders, according to the study of more than 30,000 adults.
Anoop Shankar, who led the research at West Virginia University in the US, said: “Sleep disturbances may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease – even among subjects who are apparently healthy.” A second study suggests that one weekend lie-in does not make up for regularly missing out on sleep during the week.
Several nights of extra sleep are needed for people to regain their normal levels of alertness.
The study at the University of Pennsylvania in the US also found that watching television was the most common activity before people went to bed.
And the scientists concluded that watching less TV at night could help people to sleep better.
Filed under: Health