Irregular Sleep Patterns Linked to Heart Health Risks in Older Adults

Poor sleep, including not sleeping well or having irregular sleep patterns, can be connected to heart problems. Scientists have studied how different sleep issues can affect the heart. They looked at how irregular sleep, like having varying sleep durations and bedtimes, might relate to early signs of heart disease. They found that people with more irregular sleep patterns had higher levels of calcium in their arteries, which can be a sign of heart trouble. Also, their ankle-brachial index was abnormal, which is another sign of possible heart issues. These links between irregular sleep and heart health were still present even after considering other factors like age, weight, and sleep disorders. This suggests that irregular sleep could independently contribute to heart problems. To improve heart health, it might be helpful to work on having regular and consistent sleep patterns. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings and understand the exact connection between sleep and heart health. But for now, having a regular sleep schedule could be a good idea for a healthy heart.

Source: Full KM, Huang T, Shah NA, Allison MA, Michos ED, Duprez DA, Redline S, Lutsey PL. Sleep Irregularity and Subclinical Markers of Cardiovascular Disease: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. J Am Heart Assoc. 2023: 12(4):e027361. doi:10.1161/JAHA.122.027361