Sleeping Less Than Six Hours a Night Can Contribute to Heart Disease
Lack of sleep or short duration sleep, sleep apnea and other sleep problems have been associated with increased cardiovascular disease. According to a study from the National Institute of Health, those sleeping less than six hours per night were 66% more likely to have hypertension than individuals who got seven to eight hours per night. The American Heart Association recommends seven to nine hours of sleep; variance in this sleep pattern has been linked with obesity, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.
11 Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep
- Don’t drink or eat caffeine less than 3 hours before bedtime
- Turn off screens (phones, laptop, TV, and other electronics) at least an hour before you want to fall asleep
- Dim lights and limit noise, unless it’s soft instrumental music, or sleep-inducing sounds
- Have some chamomile herbal tea (non-caffeinated)
- Finish exercising at least three hours before bedtime
- Don’t take a nap in the afternoon
- Avoid alcohol before bed – it can actually deplete you of deep, REM sleep
- Keep your room cool (but not too cold)
- Stay on schedule – go to bed and wake up at the same time each day to avoid difficult adjustments in sleep patterns
- Take a warm bath before bed
- If you’re still feeling restless, get up and do something relaxing, such as reading, until you feel sleepy.
If you frequently experience trouble sleeping, see a doctor. It may be something that can easily be addressed. A rested body is a healthier, higher functioning one, so make it a priority for healthy living.