Bedtime Between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. Best for Heart

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Experts say that a consistent bedtime routine can help you fall asleep at the optimal time. Neyya / Getty Images
  • Researchers say falling asleep between 10pm and 11pm is the best time for heart health.
  • They say the optimal bedtime goes well with circadian rhythms and daylight.
  • Experts say that sleeping consistently, as well as exercise and eating at the right time, can help you fall asleep at a healthy hour.

For many people, bedtime is whenever they can fall asleep.

However, researchers say that there is indeed an ideal time to creep under the covers for the sake of your heart’s health.

According to a new study from Great Britain, anyone who wants to protect their heart should go to bed between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.

“Our study shows that the optimal time to fall asleep is at a certain point in the body’s 24-hour cycle and deviations can be harmful to health,” said Dr. David Plans, study author and senior lecturer in organizational neuroscience at the University of Exeter, in a press release. “The riskiest time was after midnight, possibly because it could reduce the likelihood of seeing morning light, which resets the internal clock.”

“The body has an internal 24-hour clock, called the circadian rhythm, that helps regulate physical and mental function,” explains Plans. “Although we cannot conclude causality from our study, the results suggest that early or late bedtime can disrupt the internal clock with adverse consequences for cardiovascular health.”

“Studies have shown that poor sleepers have shorter lives for some reason,” added Dr. Thomas Kilkenny, director of sleep medicine at Staten Island University Hospital in New York, added.

“This report,” he told Healthline, “goes a step further and shows that when you fall asleep can also contribute to good cardiovascular health and that going to bed too early or too late can adversely affect cardiovascular risk elevated. ”

The study enrolled more than 88,000 people, ages 43 to 79, who agreed to use an accelerometer to collect data about their bedtime and wake time over a period of 7 days.

Participants also completed demographic, lifestyle, health, and physical assessments.

The researchers then tracked the study group over a 5.7 year period for diagnoses of cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction, heart failure, chronic ischemic heart disease, stroke, and transient ischemic attack.

The researchers said 3 percent of the study participants later developed cardiovascular disease. The incidence was highest in people who slept at midnight or later and lowest in people who began to sleep between 10:00 PM and 10:59 PM

Compared to falling asleep during that golden hour there was:

  • 25 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease in those who fell asleep at midnight or later
  • 12 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease for those who started sleeping between 11:00 PM and 11:59 PM
  • 24 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease for those who fell asleep before 10 p.m.

The association between falling asleep and cardiovascular risk was higher in women, the researchers found.

“There may be a gender difference in how the endocrine system responds to a circadian rhythm disruption,” Plans said. “Alternatively, the older age of the study participants could be a disruptive factor, as the cardiovascular risk in women increases after menopause.”

Many studies have shown that lack of sleep is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

People who sleep less than 7 hours a night are exhausted higher risk according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

Researchers have rarely tried to pinpoint a perfect bedtime for heart health.

“If our results are confirmed in other studies, sleep timing and basic sleep hygiene could be a cost-effective public health goal to lower the risk of heart disease,” said Plans.

“There is growing evidence that our sleep, in addition to the way we sleep, can be an important factor in cardiovascular health,” said Dr. Harly Greenberg, director of lung cancer, critical care and sleep medicine at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York, told Healthline.

“It is important that health impairments can occur if our sleep rhythm is regularly“ misaligned ”with our circadian rhythm. That is, when, due to our busy schedule, we sleep at times other than our optimal sleep time, which is determined by our biological clock, ”Greenberg continued.

However, Greenburg noted that the ideal sleep window of 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. identified in the study may not apply to everyone. More research is needed.

“The optimal circadian timing of sleep may vary for some people, especially those who are ‘morning larks’ or ‘night owls’,” said Greenburg.

The CDC recommends several steps to getting adequate sleep, including:

  • follow a regular sleep schedule
  • Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning, even on weekends
  • Getting enough natural light, especially earlier in the day (walking in the morning or at noon can help.)
  • Get enough physical activity during the day – but don’t exercise within hours of bedtime
  • Avoid artificial light, especially within a few hours before bedtime (Try using a blue light filter on your computer or smartphone.)
  • do not eat or drink within a few hours of bedtime and avoid alcohol and foods rich in fat or sugar
  • Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and calm

“The most important tip to achieving our sleep goals is to allow adequate time to sleep and stick to a strict schedule,” said Kilkenny.

“Often we tend to fall asleep when we can, so work and social plans can interfere with a good time to sleep. Sleep is one of the three things we humans have to do to survive. Eat, drink and sleep. Everything else is pretty much an elective, ”he added.

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