Have trouble falling asleep? A study suggests that frequent “tossing and turning” and taking 30 minutes before falling asleep could mean heart problems.

A team of researchers from Hiroshima University studied the link between the sleeping state and risk for a heart attack, and results suggest conditions such as taking too long before falling asleep (30 minutes or more), sleeping for less than six hours and “tossing and turning” in bed up the risk for heart attacks by two times.

The team looked at the statistical data from 13,000 people, according to the Telegraph.

Those who had difficulty sleeping through the night were 99 percent likelier to suffer from heart attacks due to severe angina.

People who needed more than 30 minutes to fall asleep had a 52 percent risk for heart attack and 48 percent percent risk for stroke. Meanwhile, those who only had six hours of sleep had 24 percent of having a heart attack.

However, lead researcher Dr Nobuo Sasaki noted that the study only looked at the statistical trend, and as such could not directly say what caused the link.

“Poor sleep in patients with ischaemic heart disease may be characterized by shorter sleep and brief moments of waking up,” he was quoted as saying. Poor sleep likely disrupted bodily functions such as pulse, breathing and blood pressure.

“Our results support the hypothesis that sleep deterioration may lead to cardiovascular disease. Poor sleep in patients with ischaemic heart disease may be characterised by shorter sleep and brief moments of waking up,” Dr Sasaki said.

A previous study by the University of California San Franciso noted that people who do not sleep throughout the night will have 29 percent risk of developing irregular heartbeat..

According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at the Harvard Medical School, poor sleep could lead to long-term health consequences. Insufficient sleep is related to weight gain, Type 2 diabetes, mood disorders, and that poor sleep is associated with people who drink more, among others.

The Hiroshima University study was presented at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Barcelona. MIMS

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