There’s no denying that you nearly always feel better after having a full night’s sleep. But according to this latest study, published in the European Heart Journal, it’s not just the odd night that you should fully recharge. Getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis could be the key to living a long and healthy life. 

The study, led by Dr. Lu Qi, director of the Tulane University Obesity Research Center revealed that even those people who had a high genetic risk of stroke or heart disease could lower that risk by adopting healthy sleep patterns on a regular basis.

Comparing a number of genetic variations that were already linked to these health problems, to more than 350,000 healthy variations, the researchers found that those who had good sleeping habits had a 35% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and 34% lower risk of both strokes and heart disease. The researchers also found that those who had the healthiest sleep patterns were those who slept for 7 or 8 hours a night, with no snoring, insomnia, or daytime drowsiness.  

Upon looking at the combined effecting of sleeping patterns and the genetic susceptibility of cardiovascular disease, it appeared that those with both high genetic risk and a poor sleep pattern increased their risk of a stroke by 1.5-fold and heart disease by more than 2.5-fold compared to those with low genetic risk and healthy sleeping pattern. On the flip side, a person with a high genetic risk but a healthy sleep pattern had just a 1.3-fold increased risk of a stroke and a 2.1-fold increased risk of heart disease. Those who had a low genetic risk and an unhealthy sleep pattern had a 1.6-fold increased risk of stroke and 1.7-fold increased risk of heart disease. 

While these results only indicate an association of the link, further studies are needed to confirm this.