Sleep may be as important to heart health as diet and physical activity, study finds

Sleep may be as important to heart health as diet and physical activity, study finds

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If you want to keep your heart healthy, add a good night’s rest to your to-do list, says a new study.

Heart disease No. 1 killer in the country, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Someone in the United States dies of cardiovascular disease every 34 seconds.

In June, American Heart Association has added sleep duration to its cardiovascular health checklist, now called the “Essential 8 of Life.” These science-based guidelines were created to help all Americans improve their heart health.

Eight items: Quit tobacco, eat better, be active, control weight, control blood pressure, control cholesterol, lower blood sugar, and get healthy sleep.

Some of the research behind the change was published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

A study by scientists at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health found that heart health guidelines are more effective at predicting a person’s heart disease risk when sleep is included.

Researchers looked at the sleep records of 2,000 middle-aged or older adults in an ongoing US study of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular disease risk factors called the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, or MESA.

Participants took part in a detailed sleep study. They filled out sleep surveys, wore a device that measured their sleep over seven days, and underwent an overnight study so scientists could monitor the way they slept.

Poor sleep habits are “pervasive” among Americans, the study said, even among study participants. About 63% of them slept less than seven hours a night, and 30% slept less than six hours. The optimal sleep duration for an adult is seven to nine hours a night. According to the CDC.

Those who slept less than seven hours a night were more likely to have “low sleep efficiency,” irregular sleep patterns, excessive daytime sleepiness, and sleep apnea. Specifically, about half of the people in the study had moderate to severe sleep apnea. More than a third reported insomnia symptoms and 14% reported excessive daytime sleepiness.

Heart disease risk factors such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure were higher among those who slept less than seven hours. Other studies have also shown the connection between short sleep and Chronic disease Which can also harm heart health.

“Poor sleep is also associated with other poor health behaviors,” said Nur Makarem, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health. Those poor health behaviors also contribute to poor heart health.

There is growing evidence that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have one low quality food, said Makarem. This may be partly because sleep is a restorer The process that, among other things, creates and regulates hormones that can make you feel full or hungry. When these hormones go out of whack, you may end up eating more and seek out calorie-dense foods that give you quick energy.

Poor sleep is also associated with less engagement in physical activity, Makarem said.

“Both a poor diet and lack of exercise are definitely important risk factors for heart disease,” he said. “So sleep is related to many cardiovascular disease risk factors, even including psychological risk factors.”

Poor sleep can increase stress levels and risk of depression, both of which affect heart health.

“In summary, sleep is related to clinical or psychological and lifestyle-related risk factors for heart disease. So it’s not surprising that poor sleep increases the risk of heart disease in the future,” added Makarem.

Sharon Cobb, Charles R. of Los Angeles. It’s important for health care providers to take sleep into account when making assessments, says Mervin M. Dymali, director of the prelicensure nursing program and associate professor at Drew University of Medicine and Science’s School of Nursing. One’s health is holistic.

He hopes that future studies will provide additional evidence of the connection between good health and good sleep, and urges more providers to ask questions.

“They take your blood pressure, they ask you how well you’re eating and how much you exercise, but a lot don’t ask ‘how well are you sleeping at night?’ ” said Cobb, who was not involved in the new study. “Good sleep is essential for promoting good health.”

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