Here's another reason to ensure you're sleeping enough.

By Kelly Vaughan
November 16, 2020
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A healthy sleep routine has long been associated with physical and mental health benefits. New research published in American Heart Association's flagship journal Circulation found that a good night's sleep can decrease your risk of heart failure. A healthy sleep routine includes waking up early, sleeping at least seven to eight hours each day, and not experiencing frequent insomnia.

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Heart failure affects more than 26 million people each year, according to the AHA. Researchers analyzed the sleep patterns of participants aged 37 to 73 between the 2006-2010. They then noted any incident of heart failure from 2010 through April 1, 2019 and recorded a total of 5,221 cases of heart failure. Participants answered a series of questions about their sleep behaviors through touchscreen questionnaires.

Overall, researchers found that the risk of heart failure was eight percent lower in early morning risers; 12 percent lower in those who slept seven to eight hours daily; 17 percent lower in those who did not have frequent insomnia; and 34 percent lower in those reporting no daytime sleepiness.

"The healthy sleep score we created was based on the scoring of these five sleep behaviors," said Lu Qi, M.D., Ph.D., co-author and professor of epidemiology and director of the Obesity Research Center at Tulane University. "Our findings highlight the importance of improving overall sleep patterns to help prevent heart failure."

A study published earlier this year found that adjusting your wake-up time by 90 minutes in either direction can significantly increase your chance of having a heart attack or heart disease. "One out of three people in the US die from heart disease, and 60% of us will have a major cardiovascular disease event before we die," Dr. David Goff, director of cardiovascular sciences at the United States National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, told CNN.

"People are living busy, stressful lives and not getting a lot of sleep during the week," Goff said. "Then they are trying to get catchup sleep on the weekend, and that's not a healthy pattern."

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