In a recent study it was discovered that going to bed and to sleep between 10 pm and 11 pm lowers the risk of developing heart disease when compared to other times of the night.
A person’s circadian rhythm helps regulate mental and physical functioning. This internal body clock works best when there is a routine bedtime. The study indicates that the optimum time to go to bed is at a specific point in the body’s 24-hour cycle. Many people go to bed when they feel tired and can fall asleep. But this study has shown that going to bed between 10 pm and 11 pm is optimum. Falling asleep after midnight showed a 25% higher risk of cardiovascular health problems while going to bed earlier than 10 pm results in a 24% increase. The highest risk is after midnight because it may reduce the chances of seeing morning light which will reset the body’s internal clock.
Studies have shown that people who sleep poorly for any reason will live a shorter life. To help a person fall asleep a consistent bedtime routine in addition to eating at proper times and exercising is recommended. Timing of sleep can also be a contributor to good heart health and that if you go to sleep too late or too early it will be detrimental to heart health.
The study included more the 88,000 people between the ages of 43 and 79 who collected data on their wake up time and bedtime over a 7-day period using an accelerometer. They also completed lifestyle, health, demographic, and physical assessments.
These participants were tracked over a 5 to 7 year period which included diagnoses of health disease such as heart failure, heart attack, stroke, chronic ischemic heart disease and transient ischemic attack.
They found that 3% of the participants later developed cardiovascular disease. The highest incidence was in those who went to bedtime at midnight or later and lowest in those who went to bed between 10 pm and 11 pm.
Those participants who went to sleep at midnight or later showed a 25% higher risk of heart disease. The risk was 12% greater when going to sleep between 11 pm and 11:59 pm. And a 24% increase in heart disease going to sleep before 10 pm.
The link between sleep time and cardiovascular risk was highest among women. This may be from the endocrine system responding to a change in circadian rhythm. A factor could be the participants age since women’s cardiovascular risk will increase post menopause.
Timing seems to be more important than quantity. People who sleep less than 7 hours are at a higher risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
This study shows increasing evidence indicating that what time we sleep and how we sleep may be an important factor contributing to heart heath. Adverse cardiovascular health effects may occur when our schedule for sleep is misaligned with our circadian rhythm on a regular basis. When busy schedules interfere with the a person’s bedtime adverse health conditions can occur.
The team notes that the 10 pm to 11 pm sleep window which was identified in this study may not apply to all people. Additional research is needed.
To view the original scientific study click below:
Accelerometer-derived sleep onset timing and cardiovascular disease incidence: a UK Biobank cohort study