To Maintain A Healthy Heart, How Many Hours A Night Should I Sleep?

Dr. Sidney Smith answers the question: 'How Much Sleep For A Healthy Heart?'

ByABC News
January 30, 2008, 1:41 PM

— -- Question: To maintain a healthy heart, how many hours a night should I sleep?

Answer: We think that a healthy lifestyle is very good for the heart, and that certainly includes exercise, the right diet, and not smoking, but with that, there's a growing awareness that you need to get a certain amount of rest every day.

The exact amount may vary from person to person. We know that, for instance, an infant may sleep many hours during the day; older people tend to require less sleep. In general, it's recommended that you get at least six to seven hours of sleep per day.

The American Heart Association has been very interested in sleep apnea, which is a situation generally associated with obesity, snoring, and a tendency to fatal arrhythmias, so people that are chronically sleepy, particularly if they're overweight, and if they snore, should really consider further evaluation to be at risk for arrhythmias and potentially sudden death.

For the bulk of us that just want to know how much sleep we should get, the general recommendation now is from six to seven hours a day.

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