Getting a good night of sleep has many benefits to both physical and mental health. It can help with weight loss, mental sharpness, mood, skin health, and more. In addition, sleep can also have a direct impact on heart health and heart disease risk. But getting quality sleep is a struggle for many people.
In a recent study, researchers found that adults who got sufficient, quality sleep had fewer early signs of heart disease than those who slept either too little or too much. People who slept five or fewer hours per night had 50 percent more calcium in their coronary arteries than those who got seven hours of sleep. On the flip side, people who slept nine or more hours per night had 70 percent more coronary calcium than those who slept seven hours.
Aim for Quality Sleep
Study participants who had restless or disturbed sleep were found to have 20 percent more coronary calcium than those who got restful sleep. In fact, researchers believe quality may be more important than quantity in determining sleep’s impact on heart health.
How does irregular sleep affect heart health? Click here to learn more.
How To Get Better Sleep
If you’ve had trouble getting enough quality sleep, here are a few tips:
- Don’t look at any screens – including your phone – for at least one hour before bedtime
- Keep your bedroom cool
- Play white noise
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time, even on the weekend
- Have a high-protein, low-sugar snack before bedtime
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This is an updated blog post that was originally published in February 2018.