Each year, around 647,000 people in the United States die of heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). And while your family history and certain medical conditions can increase your risk of falling into this statistic, your daily habits are also often to blame for ruining your heart.
For example, did you know that eating just one serving of fried food a week could increase your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 11 percent? Or that getting fewer than six hours of sleep a night could increase your risk of critical plaque buildup by 27 percent? To help you stay on top of your game, we’ve called in the experts to learn the daily habits that ruin your heart.
1. You sleep too much.
While it’s great that you’re getting a ton of sleep, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. According to a study published in the European Heart Journal, people who sleep between eight and nine hours a day increase their risk of dying or developing cardiovascular disease by five percent. And people who sleep more than 10 hours a day increase their risk by 41 percent.
2. Or you don’t sleep enough.
On the other hand, a lack of sleep could harm your heart too, says Stacey Rosen, MD, a cardiologist and vice president of The Katz Institute for Women’s Health at Northwell Health in New York. “The importance of a good night’s sleep for heart health is critical,” she says.
According to a 2019 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, people who slept fewer than six hours a night were 27 percent more likely to have atherosclerosis—or plaque buildup in the arteries—than those who received the recommended eight hours of sleep per night.
3. You work the night shift.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, your heart could really do without that wacky work schedule. The study found that among women who worked as registered nurses, long-term rotating night-shift hours were associated with a statistically significant increased risk of coronary heart disease.