People who deprive themselves of sleep may be more likely to die of heart disease, researchers have found.
A new study has identified a link between lack of sleep, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
An analysis of more than 6,500 people also found that women getting less than five hours' sleep were twice as likely to have hypertension as men. Hypertension - chronically high blood pressure - is a risk factor for heart disease, Britain's biggest killer.
Researchers said the results were "highly suggestive" that sleep deprivation may be also linked to death from cardiovascular disease.
Almost one in three people gets less than five hours' sleep a night, while half the population gets less than seven hours.
Francesco Cappuccio, professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Warwick Medical School, said: "We found lack of sleep is not only linked to a greater chance of developing high blood pressure but is also linked to increased death from cardiovascular causes. It is a stark finding but the results are highly suggestive of a causal link."
He will present his research later this month at the British Sleep Society's annual meeting in Cambridge.
Source - Daily Mail