Join the dots: sleep & your heart

Did you know? Less than 6 hours sleep = increased risk of heart disease


Let’s look at some key stats & facts:

  • Studies have found that short sleepers have a 48% increased risk of developing or dying from heart disease and a 15% greater risk of developing or dying from stroke.

  • Lack of sleep is linked to a host of heart health risks including obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.

While lack of sleep doesn’t necessarily cause heart disease, it does substantially increase your risk factors.

Too little sleep causes disruptions to underlying health conditions and biological processes such as glucose metabolism, blood pressure and inflammation. If you are getting less than 6 hours sleep, you likely have higher levels of stress hormones and substances in your blood which indicate inflammation – a key player in heart disease.


The link to obesity:

Obesity has a strong link to poor sleep due to ‘short sleepers’ being more likely to snack and eat more food in general. Insufficient sleep impairs various brain reward systems, including those that oversee energy intake, judgement and food choices. In addition to this, studies suggest that sleep-deprived people are more likely to eat fewer vegetables and instead choose sweet, fatty foods.


A word on sleep apnoea:

Obstructive sleep apnoea is characterised by a repetitive pattern in which a person briefly stops breathing. This is due to the tongue or throat tissues blocking the airway, sometimes up to hundreds of times a night. Sleep apnoea is strongly associated with obesity and is known to increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.


Following basic sleep hygiene ‘rules’ can help ensure you’re getting enough sleep but chances are, your workforce needs more than just be told to get more sleep. Ask us how we can help today. We know that making behaviour changes to improve health is a continual process that requires structured, monthly engagement, and with this formula we can achieve:

  • Voluntary monthly engagement from 80% of your total workforce; and

  • 60% of your total workforce attaining measured behaviour change

Get in touch today to make a difference at your workplace.