Irregular sleep patterns increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It is already well known that a lack of sleep is detrimental to your health, but even having irregular sleep patterns could pose health risks as well.
The study looked at peoples sleep duration along with what time they fell asleep at. The researchers found that those with irregular sleep patterns had a higher risk of cardiovascular events including stroke, heart failure, and heart disease.
Lead author of the study Tianyi Huang explained “Sleep regularity is an understudied area with critical relevance to everyone. Understanding its relationship with cardiovascular disease has important public health implications and may identify novel strategies for cardiovascular disease prevention.”
Researchers looked at data from nearly 2,000 people without heart disease. Participants wore sleep monitors for seven days and those whose sleep patterns varied by 2.2 hours or more had a higher risk of cardiovascular complications compared to those who had fewer sleep variations.
The time someone fell asleep also had an impact on heart health. Those who fell asleep within the same 30-minute window nightly had a lower risk of a cardiovascular event than those who slept within a 90-minute window.
Spending a lot of time on digital devices led to greater sleep irregularity.
The study reveals that we should be paying closer attention to our sleep patterns, not just the length of sleep we’re getting each night. It also highlights the fact that in our digital age we need to limit our exposure to these devices as a means of promoting better night sleep especially if we already have other heart disease risk factors as they can increase dangers to the heart.
Furthermore, you may also believe that you’re doing yourself a favor by catching up on sleep over the weekend, but this can lead to greater disparities in sleep patterns and cause more harm than good. So, rather than try to catch up on your sleep on the weekend or your days off, try to stick to the same schedule seven days a week to protect your heart.
Lastly, findings like these should prompt doctors to discuss sleep patterns with their patients when creating a profile of their patient’s heart health.
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