Saturday, April 4, 2009

Night owls more prone to heart disease

A new study finds that the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases significantly increases in men who go to bed after midnight.

Previous studies had linked chronic sleep loss to heart disease, diabetes, obesity and several health concerns. Some studies laid great emphasis on the role of a good night's sleep in maintaining an individual's heart health.

The fewer hours an individual sleeps each night, the higher the body mass index (BMI), blood pressure and triglyceride levels become.

A new study however has reported that going to bed late affects heart health regardless of sleep duration. According to the study presented at the 58th annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, men who go to bed after midnight are more vulnerable to arterial stiffening -- an early stage of atherosclerosis and heart disease --, even if they sleep for at least seven hours.

Unhealthy late-night habits such as drinking more coffee to stay awake are believed to be responsible for the increased risk of cardiovascular problems in these individuals.

Feeling tired and exhausted increases the stress level - a significant risk factor for heart disease - and adversely effects cardiovascular health.

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