Variation in weekday and weekend sleep duration may be associated with decreased cardiovascular health and increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in older women, according to data presented at the 2017 American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions, held November 11-15, in Anaheim, California.
Older women who don’t get enough sleep were more likely to have poor cardiovascular health, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.
In the new study, researchers considered sleeping at least two hours more during the weekend than on the weekday as a sign of being in sleep debt. Among the roughly 21,500 female health professionals between the ages of 60 and 84 the research team followed, women who were in sleep debt were more likely to be obese and have hypertension.
When taking into account socioeconomic status and sources of stress, such as negative life events and work-related stress that could also influence cardiovascular health, quality of sleep was still an essential factor for good overall cardiovascular health. The results suggest that not getting enough sleep during the week might throw the body off and may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in older women.
Medical evidence suggests that for optimum health and function, the average adult should get seven to nine hours of sleep daily. But more than 60% of women regularly fall short of that goal. Although each hour of lost slumber goes into the health debit column, we don’t get any monthly reminders that we’ve fallen into arrears.
In fact, the greater the sleep debt, the less capable we are of recognizing it: Once sleep deprivation with its fuzzy-headedness, irritability, and fatigue has us in its sway, we can hardly recall what it’s like to be fully rested. And as the sleep debt mounts, the health consequences increase, putting us at growing risk for weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and memory loss.
Tomas Cabeza De Baca, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
Presentation location: Population Forum, Science & Technology Hall
Cabeza De Baca T, Matsushita F, Redline S, et al. Sleep debt: weekday and weekend sleep differences in ideal cardiovascular health in women. Presented at: American Heart Association 2017 Scientific Sessions; November 11-15, 2017; Anaheim, CA. Abstract 798.
Sleep deprivation may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in older women Dallas, Texas: American Heart Association. Published November 14, 2017. Accessed November 14, 2017.