Latest Sleep News
Researchers analyzed data from nearly 2,000 Americans between 45 and 84 years of age who did not have heart disease. Participants wore a wrist device that monitored their sleep for seven days, including bedtime, sleep duration and wake time.
Those whose sleep varied two hours or more a night were twice as likely to have heart events as those whose sleep varied by fewer than 60 minutes.
Over one year, eight of every 1,000 people with the most consistent sleep patterns had a heart event, compared with 20 in 1,000 of those with the most irregular sleep, according to the study published in the March issue of The Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
“When we talk about interventions to prevent heart attacks and stroke, we focus on diet and exercise,” said lead author Tianyi Huang, an associate epidemiologist in the Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
“Even when we talk about sleep, we tend to focus on duration — how many hours a person sleeps each night — but not on sleep irregularity and the impact of going to bed at different times or sleeping different amounts from night to night,” he noted in a hospital news release.
This study suggests that healthy sleep isn’t just about quantity but about consistency and that it can have an important effect on heart health, Huang said. However, it only shows an association, rather than a cause-and-effect link.
“In the future,” Huang said, “we’d like to explore whether changing one’s sleep patterns by going to bed consistently each night may reduce a person’s risk of future cardiovascular events.”
— Robert Preidt
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SOURCE: Brigham and Women’s Hospital, news release, March 2, 2020