You probably know that both the quality and quantity of sleep play a critical role in your energy levels, general well-being, and your future risk of disease. And now scientists are discovering that getting the most out of our Zzz’s is also a key component. Since it corresponds to our natural circadian rhythm and exposure to daylight in the early morning hours, The best time to cover up is between 10:00 PM and 11:00 PM to reduce the risk of heart disease, according to a new study published Nov. 9 in the European Heart Journal Digital Health.
Using data on bedtime and wake-up times for a period of 7 days from more than 88,000 adults between the ages of 43 and 70, the researchers also collected lifestyle, health, physical, and demographic data on each participant. Then, almost 6 years later, they checked in to see how many of them had received some form of diagnosis of cardiovascular disease such as stroke, heart attack, or heart failure. About 3% of people developed cardiovascular disease within this time. Those who went to bed at midnight or later were at the highest risk, while those who fell asleep between 10 p.m. and 10:59 p.m. had the lowest risk.
Related: 5 Nutrients You Should Eat For Better Sleep – And How To Include Them In Your Diet
You may think the sooner the better after hearing these results, but you may actually start snoozing too early. Compared to those who hit the “sweet spot” between 10pm and 11pm:
Those who fell asleep after noon were at a 25% higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Those who fell asleep between 11:00 PM and 11:59 PM were at a 12% higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Those who fell asleep before 10 p.m. had a 24% higher risk of cardiovascular disease – almost as high as the night owls.
“The riskiest time was after midnight, possibly because it reduces the chances of seeing the morning light, which sets the clock back,” said David Plans, Ph.D., study author and senior lecturer in organizational neuroscience at the University of Exeter, of one Press release. “The body has an internal 24-hour clock, called the circadian rhythm, that helps regulate physical and mental function. Although we cannot conclude causality from our study, the results suggest that sleeping early or late is the internal one Disturbing clocks are more likely to have adverse effects on cardiovascular health. “
Other studies have proven that those who have difficulty sleeping live shorter lives, says Thomas Kilkenny, DO, the director of sleep medicine at Staten Island University Hospital in New York Health line. And “this report 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 adversely increases your cardiovascular risk.”
The authors confirm that this adds to the growing evidence that both the timing and type of sleep affect our heart health throughout life. If these results are verified in future larger research studies (they are not 100% sure whether this time of 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. is general or whether this might vary depending on the population group), a well-timed, high-quality sleep routine could become part of ours overall prevention of heart disease Rx.
“Optimal circadian timing of sleep may vary in some people, especially those who are ‘morning larks’ or ‘night owls’,” said Harly Greenberg, MD, director of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York, added Health line.
Related: What Happens To Your Body When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?
If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep or nap at a constant hour, try this 3-day sleep-oriented eating plan and consider these 7 bedroom design tips for better sleep, according to experts. In addition, the Sleep Foundation suggests these strategies to improve your sleep hygiene:
Sleep in a cool room, around 65 degrees
Allow time for sleep in your schedule by setting an alarm clock 30 minutes before bed to remind you to relax (read: turn off tech, listen to soothing music, practice a few Yoga poses before bed)
Slowly adjust your sleep schedule to get used to a new bedtime or more bedtime overall
Try to move your body and soak in some natural light (with SPF of course) during the day
Avoid alcohol and caffeine for the couple of hours before bed
Keep a sleep diary recording the quantity, quality, and habits before bed, and speak to your doctor if you have persistent problems falling asleep
“The most important tip for achieving our sleep goals is to plan an appropriate amount of time for sleep and to adhere to a strict schedule of sleep timing. 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, “concludes Dr. Kilkenny.