Obesity and lack of sleep may increase risk of heart disease

Not getting your daily recommended eight hours of sleep may cost Plavix users more than a cranky morning.

Not getting your daily recommended eight hours of sleep may cost Plavix users more than a cranky morning. Recent studies are showing that a link between obesity and insufficient hours of sleep could result in an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

Researchers at the University of Michigan gathered 37 obese adolescents from ages 11-17 to test whether sleep duration had any impact on their risk factors for diabetes and heart disease. The subjects wore a physical activity monitor 24 hours a day for one week to analyze their typical routines of exercise and sleeping habits. The results of the participants' sleeping patterns showed that only five subjects achieved the recommended 8.5 hours of sleep every night, while the majority of those tested slept for seven hours, waking up at least one time per sleep cycle.

The inadequacy of sleep in the subjects resulted in only one-third of the group meeting the suggested 60 minutes of daily physical activity. The researchers controlled other obesity factors such as cardiometabolic risk, body mass index and the assortment of physical activity, finding that the low levels of sleep were still a predominant factor in predicting the risk of heart disease amongst obese teenagers.

Dr. Heidi IglayReger, a professor at the University of Michigan and co-author of the study, expressed her concerns regarding the increased odds of obese adolescents not getting enough sleep.

"The strong association between sleep duration and cardiometabolic risk score independent of the effects of body composition and physical activity suggest a potential influence of sleep duration on cardiometabolic health in obese adolescents." IglayReger said in a press release.

Getting a better night's rest
More than 70 million Americans have trouble sleeping, according to the U.S. Department of Human Health and Services. While further research is needed to determine whether or not insomnia can be a sole factor in elevated risk of heart disease, sleep deprivation is still regarded as a main component to experiencing heart related symptoms. Getting a sufficient amount of sleep can also improve the following:

  • Problem solving skills
  • Energy
  • Alertness
  • Memory
  • Reflexes

If you are obese and have been prescribed Plavix, a lack of sleep is the last thing you need in the fight against heart disease. Make sure you are receiving the recommended eight hours and talk to your doctor today if sleeping problems are frequent.