Research warns a lack of sleep could be as dangerous as smoking for your heart

(ThinkStock)

ST. LOUIS-  Sleeping too much or too little may be almost as bad for your heart as smoking.

Researchers found 50-year-old men who sleep five hours or less a night were twice as likely to have a cardiovascular event by the time they reached 71.

These men who slept less were also more likely to have diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. The optimum amount of sleep per night  seven to eight hours.

The study did not evaluate women.