(CNN)If you're a middle-aged adult with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes or existing heart disease and you typically sleep less than six hours each night, you could be setting yourself up for cancer or an early death from heart disease.
Mixing less than 6 hours of sleep with chronic disease is deadly combo
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That's the discomforting results of a study that sleep-tested 16,000 adults between the ages of 20 and 74 and then tracked their health for 20 years.
"This is now the fourth study, including ours, clearly indicating that sleeping less than six hours a day can actually lead to the development of artery disease and death related to cardiovascular disease," said renowned cardiologist Dr. Valentin Fuster, director of Mount Sinai Heart in New York City. Fuster was not involved in the study.
Sleep is critical to the body's rejuvenation. Deep sleep, the kind that comes only after a full cycle, is necessary for the body to release hormones designed to repair cells and build tissue in the body and brain.