The quality of your sleep matters, too.
Some experts point out that when it comes to sleep, quality is better than quantity. According to Martha Gulati, MD, editor-in-chief of CardioSmart.org, the American College of Cardiology’s educational site for patients, this could be what’s increasing the risk of heart disease for people who are sleeping in.
“You wonder if somebody is sleeping longer because they just didn’t get a good night’s sleep,” Gulati told U.S. News & World Report. “I always say there’s good sleep and there’s bad sleep. You might be in bed for eight hours, but is it good quality sleep?”
Another new study also found a lack of sleep can affect your brain health as well.
It’s not just your heart health that can suffer from sleeping too much or too little. A study recently published in the journal Nature Communications followed about 8,000 people in Britain starting at age 50 and assessed their sleeping habits and health for 25 years.
The study found that those who regularly slept less than six hours on average weeknights were 30 percent more likely to develop dementia than those who got a “normal” amount of seven hours of sleep per night. “The study found a modest, but I would say somewhat important association of short sleep and dementia risk,” Pamela Lutsey, PhD, an associate professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota, who was not involved in the research, told The New York Times.