A good night’s sleep increases the cardiovascular benefits of a healthy lifestyle

I recently came across this article about the benefits of a good night’s sleep for cardiovascular health:

A good night’s sleep can increase the benefit of exercise, healthy diet, moderate alcohol consumption and non-smoking in their protection against cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to results of a large population follow-up study.(1) Results showed that the combination of the four traditional healthy lifestyle habits was associated with a 57% lower risk of cardiovascular disease (fatal and non-fatal) and a 67% lower risk of fatal events.(2) But, when “sufficient sleep” (defined as seven or more hours a night) was added to the other four lifestyle factors, the overall protective benefit was even further increased – and resulted in a 65% lower risk of composite CVD and a 83% lower risk of fatal events.


“If all participants adhered to all five healthy lifestyle factors, 36% of composite CVD and 57% of fatal CVD could theoretically be prevented or postponed,” the authors report. “The public health impact of sufficient sleep duration, in addition to the traditional healthy lifestyle factors, could be substantial.”


The study is published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, and is the first to investigate whether the addition of sleep duration to the four traditional healthy lifestyle factors contributes to an association with CVD.

The Monitoring Project on Risk Factors for Chronic Diseases (MORGEN) is a prospective cohort study in the Netherlands from which 6672 men and 7967 women aged 20–65 years and free of CVD at baseline were followed up for a mean time of 12 years. Details of physical activity, diet, alcohol consumption, smoking and sleep duration were recorded between 1993 and 1997, and the subjects followed-up through a cross-link to national hospital and mortality registers.

The abstract can be viewed HERE