How Your Bedtime Affects Your Health
New research suggests that your sleeping patterns may be key to your health. That means even if you regularly get seven hours of sleep per night, the time you go to bed and wake up may be just as important. Researchers at Duke Health and Duke Clinical Research Institute found that people in their study who had irregular sleep patterns weighed more, had higher blood sugar, higher blood pressure and a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke within 10 years than those who slept and woke at the same times daily. The irregular sleepers also were more likely to report depression and stress, both of which are related to heart health. A total of 1,978 adults ages 54 to 93 participated. None had been diagnosed with a sleep disorder. During the study, the participants used devices that tracked their daily sleep down to the minute to reveal whether subtle changes such as going to bed 10 minutes later than usual were linked to health. While the findings are provocative, the researchers said they show only an association between sleep irregularity and health, not cause and effect.
Jessica R. Lunsford-Avery et al, “Validation of the Sleep Regularity Index in Older Adults and Associations with Cardiometabolic Risk.” Scientific Reports, September 21, 2018
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