A study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, reveals that people who go to bed and sleep at the same time every day maintain a healthy heart and a stable metabolism. It investigates the importance of sleep in association with cardiovascular health and metabolic well-being of individuals. The study was conducted by the researchers from Duke University Medical Center. They aimed at evaluating the influence of going to bed on time on the health of people.
All of us are familiar with this popular quote that “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Research further validates this fact. Health experts advise that no matter how busy is your schedule, it’s important to sleep for at least eight hours a day. A sound quality and quantity of sleep can make wonders for you!
The respective research employed around 2000 people, aged between 54-93 years, for the study. The researchers studied or determined the sleeping patterns of nearly all the participants. Note that the participants of the study had no previous sleeping disorder.
The researchers asked the participants to wear wrist-worn devices. These devices measured their physical activity and ambient light. Moreover, the participants completed a sleep diary as well. This way the researchers kept the track record of the participants’ sleeping patterns. The research continued for almost seven days. Afterward, the scientists determined the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases i.e. blood pressure, cholesterol, sugar levels, and body weight.
The results of the study revealed that people going to bed at irregular times experience higher body weights, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. However, the participants, who slept at a consistent time, had lower body weights, normal blood pressure, and stable sugar levels.
Thus, people with variable sleeping patterns were determined to have an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, or obesity. In addition, they also had a higher risk of developing cardio-metabolic diseases in association with depression and stress. The study also revealed that in comparison to the duration of sleep, the effects of sleep regularity on cardio-metabolic outcomes were more significant.
Dr. Jessica Lunsford-Avery, one of the authors of the study, from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in Duke University Medical Center states that irregularity in sleep interferes with the body’s metabolism which can lead to weight gain or obesity.
Thus, it is important to maintain a healthy and regular sleep pattern. Moreover, synchronizing your sleep-wake cycles can get you the rest you need. It generates a circadian rhythm that works like an internal clock in regulating biological patterns like body temperature, blood pressure, and hormone levels. Factors like light exposure affect this internal clock, thus you must avoid such factors to maintain a regular sleep. You can try some of the following tricks to maintain a healthy sleep as well.
Avoid exposure to light at the time of sleeping. Keep your room dark while sleeping. Light triggers a state of wakefulness which can disrupt your sleep cycle. Reducing the amount of light or avoiding light exposure when you go to bed helps your circadian rhythm to detect that it’s time for sleep.
Avoid caffeine before bed! Coffee, soda, and tea contain caffeine that can keep you up all night. Caffeine disrupts your circadian rhythm because it delays the release of the sleep hormone melatonin. Thus, people must avoid consuming caffeine before going to bed.
In order to fall asleep, your core body temperature needs to decrease. For this purpose, set your room temperature at 65 to 58 degrees Fahrenheit.
Overall, the results of the study suggest that sleep irregularity is a latent target for the recognition and hindrance of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.