You can’t win: If you sleep too little, or too long, this will be associated with excess aging of your heart.

You’ve certainly heard of the sleep number commercials. Well, the ideal “sleep number” for heart health seems to be seven – as in seven hours of sleep per 24 hours.

Sleeping less than that or more than that is associated with EHA: excess heart age. In fact, the greatest EHA is in short duration sleepers.

Study Shows Association with
Sleep Duration and Heart Aging

• The study involved 12,775 adults 30 to 74 who responded to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007-2014).

• Self-reports of time spent sleeping were grouped as follows: five hours or less; six hours; seven; eight; and nine or more.

• Heart age was calculated via the sex-specific Framingham heart age algorithm.

• To examine the association between length of sleep and EHA, the researchers used multivariable linear or logistic regression.

Association does not establish cause. In other words, for someone who gets over nine hours of sleep per 24 hours, is this excess sleep caused by some other condition that will prematurely age their heart?

Or does the nine + hours of sleep directly damage and age the heart?

Same with short duration sleep: Does a pre-existing condition, which causes fast aging of the heart, also cause short sleep duration? Or does sleeping six or fewer hours per night cause direct harm to the ticker?

The study was headed by Julia Durmer, Emory University, the Center for the Study of Human Health, Emory University, Rollins School of Public Heath in Atlanta, GA.

No definitive cause and effect relationship was determined by this study or any previous study.

One theory, though, is that a person who’d lead an unhealthy lifestyle that’s bad for the heart is more apt to oversleep – or under-sleep.