A research abstract to be presented today at SLEEP 2007 in Minneapolis suggests that chronic sleep deprivation negatively impacts cardiac activity. This may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality.

Researchers at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine witnessed a decrease in heart rate variability in subjects who had experienced five nights of sleep restriction. This reduction in heart rate variability may lead to certain cardiological and noncardiological diseases.

Researchers indicate that further analysis is necessary to understand the link between sleep restriction and heart rate variability.