A Live Science report indicates that people who get 8 hours of sleep per night are more likely to have ideal heart health.

In the study, the researchers looked at data on 9,700 people who were all employees at a health organization called Baptist Health South Florida. The employees filled out questionnaires that included questions about their lifestyle habits such as their diet, smoking, physical activity levels, and sleep duration and quality. People in the study were divided into three groups based on how long they slept: less than 6 hours a night, 6 to 7.9 hours a night and 8 or more hours a night.

The researchers looked at how many “ideal” targets of heart health each participant met. The targets include having blood pressure under 120/80 mm Hg, a body mass index under 25, a blood glucose level under 140 mg/dL, a total cholesterol level under 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week, earning a score of 8 out of 10 on the AHA’s scoring of an ideal diet and not smoking (a breath test was used to identify smokers).

The researchers also collected data on the employees’ body mass index, blood pressure, and blood glucose and cholesterol levels.

The researchers found that people who slept 8 hours were more 1.6 times more likely to eat an ideal diet, 1.7 times more likely to have an ideal BMI, 1.3 times more likely to have ideal blood pressure and 2.4 times more likely to get enough physical activity, compared with those who slept less than 6 hours.

Read the full story at www.livescience.com