Restful sleep may help reduce risk for heart failure

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People who regularly get a good night's sleep may help protect themselves from heart failure, a large, new study suggests.
Researchers found that of over 400,000 adults, those with the healthiest sleep patterns were 42% less likely to develop heart failure over 10 years, versus people with the least healthy habits.

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Those "healthy" sleepers reported five things: Getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night, no snoring, rarely having trouble falling or staying asleep, no daytime grogginess, and being a "morning" person.

Still, the findings do not prove cause and effect, said senior researcher Dr. Lu Qi, a professor at Tulane University's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, in New Orleans.

However, he said, they do build on a body of research linking sleep quality to heart health.

Studies have found that people with insomnia have higher risks of heart disease. The same is true of people with sleep apnea -- a chronic disorder where breathing pauses repeatedly throughout the night.

In fact, many of the unhealthy sleepers in the new study might have had sleep apnea, said Dr. Nieca Goldberg, a cardiologist at NYU Langone Health, in New York City.

Chronic snoring and daytime sleepiness are hallmarks of sleep apnea, noted Goldberg, who is also a spokesperson for the American Heart Association. And if people are getting poor sleep because of breathing problems, she added, they are unlikely to feel like an early…
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