A US News & World Report examines the connection between heart health and sleep apnea, insomnia, and sleep duration.

People who are considered long sleepers – which means getting more than nine hours of sleep each night – don’t live as long as those who get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night, Grandner says. Short sleepers, or the 20 to 30 percent of us who get six hours or less each night, have even worse health outcomes, including an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

In 2010, researchers from the United Kingdom and Italy published an analysis ???in the journal Sleep that showed both short and long duration sleep predicted death among participants from 16 studies. Specifically, short sleepers had a 12 percent greater death risk than those who slept ?seven to eight hours a night?, and long sleepers had a 30 percent greater risk of dying. For short sleepers, the most common cause of death was coronary artery calcification. The short sleepers also had an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, obesity, Type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose control and high cholesterol.??

“Obviously there will be days many of us won’t get enough sleep,” says Dr. Nieca Goldberg?, medical director of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health and the Women’s Heart Program at NYU Langone Medical Center. “That doesn’t mean you’ll have a heart attack or stroke, but a lack of sleep ?contributes to that risk in people who are short sleepers?.?”? That’s because those sleepers have higher blood pressure, higher blood sugar levels and increased belly fat, she adds.

View the full story at www.usnews.com