Plenty of rest can reduce heart disease in the elderly

Joan Timpson  |  July 6, 2013

Many people know that getting enough sleep is important. Without sufficient rest, people can feel irritable and weary, and can be more likely to become injured in preventable accidents. However, new research suggests that a proper amount of sleep can also stave off heart disease.

Scientists at the Centre for Prevention and Health Services Research and National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Holland studied the sleep patterns and overall health of more than 20,000 men and women over a period of 12 years. Based on their data, researchers discovered that getting enough sleep over a consistent period of time had a strong correlation to the incidence of heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions.

Sleep was one of five factors examined in the study, which revealed individuals who practiced all five - healthy diet, not smoking, regular exercise, moderate alcohol consumption and healthy sleep patterns - were significantly less likely to develop heart disease. In fact, approximately 36 percent of heart disease and stroke cases and more than half of fatal cardiovascular conditions could be prevented by getting adequate rest, in addition to making other lifestyle choices.

If your elderly parent or relative is currently living in a residential assisted living community, ensure they are getting sufficient rest during your next visit - it may prolong their life and improve their overall health.