New research from the University of Warwick Medical School, United Kingdom, published in the European Heart Journal, shows that prolonged sleep deprivation and disrupted sleep patterns can have long-term, serious health implications. Leading academics from the university have linked lack of sleep to strokes, heart attacks, and cardiovascular disorders, which often result in early death.

Professor Francesco Cappuccio explained: "If you sleep less than 6 hours per night and have disturbed sleep, you stand a 48% greater chance of developing or dying from heart disease and a 15% greater chance of developing or dying of a stroke.”

Professor Cappuccio and coauthor Dr Michelle Miller, from the University of Warwick, conducted the research program, which followed up evidence for 7 to 25 years from more than 470,000 participants in eight countries including Japan, the United States, Sweden, and the UK.

"By ensuring you have about 7 hours of sleep a night, you are protecting your future health, and reducing the risk of developing chronic illnesses,” Cappuccio said. “The link is clear from our research: get the sleep you need to stay healthy and live longer."