At a recent lunch out with some girlfriends, the conversation turned to one of our favorite topics, sleep, or rather the lack thereof. It turns out that we go to sleep too late, we sleep badly and as a result are perpetually exhausted. After a brief discussion we agreed to simply stipulate that, as little as we all slept when our children were young, we sleep even less now.
The optimal bedtime is between 10-11PM
But, it may no longer be merely a bit of inconsequential fluff that we stay up past our ideal bedtime. Now, a new study published today in the European Heart Journal – Digital Health (a journal of the European Society of Cardiology ESC), found that going to sleep between 10pm and 11pm every night may protect your cardiac health and conversely missing that sleep sweet spot may be deleterious to your cardiac health.
The study found that the incidence of cardiovascular disease was highest in those with sleep times at midnight or later and lowest in those with sleep onset from 10:00 to 10:59 pm. In fact, there was a 25% higher risk of cardiovascular disease among those with a sleep onset at midnight or later and a 24% increased risk for those falling asleep before 10:00 pm. That increased risk was stronger in women than in men.
The study’s author, Dr. David Plans of the University of Exeter, UK. said, “Our study indicates that the optimum time to go to sleep is at a specific point in the body’s 24-hour cycle and deviations may be detrimental to health. The riskiest time was after midnight, potentially because it may reduce the likelihood of seeing morning light, which resets the body clock.”
And he concluded that,
While the findings do not show causality, sleep timing has emerged as a potential cardiac risk factor – independent of other risk factors and sleep characteristics. If our findings are confirmed in other studies, sleep timing and basic sleep hygiene could be a low-cost public health target for lowering risk of heart disease.
So moms, next time you are tempted to finish binge-watching that show or doing some other task that needs to be done, remember that it’s best for you and for everyone in your family if you stick to a 10-11 pm bedtime. Now you have the perfect excuse to put yourself to bed at a reasonable time, after all, it’s good for your heart.