Chances are you’re overlooking one of the MOST powerful tools against heart disease available to you.
It’s not a drug or a supplement. And it’s not some expensive piece of equipment.
In fact, this tool won’t even cost you an extra cent because you ALREADY own it.
I’m talking about your bed.
Or, to be more accurate, the good night’s sleep you SHOULD be getting in it.
Because tossing and turning at night isn’t as harmless as it may seem.
When you don’t get enough quality shuteye, it’s not just dark circles and sleepiness you have to contend with. You could end up paying a much BIGGER price.
It turns out staring at the ceiling all night harms your HEART too.
And now new research has revealed chronic insomnia could leave you staring down the barrel of a heart attack or stroke as well.
Too little sleep leads to clogged arteries
Researchers recruited nearly 4,000 people for the new study. And none of the volunteers had heart disease or a sleep disorder when the research started.
The participants were divided up into four groups…
- those who slept less than 6 hours per night
- those who slept 6-7 hours per night
- those who slept 7-8 hours per night
- those who slept more than 8 hours per night
At the end of the observation period, each of the volunteers had a heart ultrasound and a CT scan. And what the researchers found was disturbing.
Sleeping LESS than six hours or MORE than eight a night really took its toll.
The folks in both of those groups were far more likely to have developed atherosclerosis, a dangerous build-up of plaque in their arteries.
And those who clocked in at less than six hours a night were at the MOST risk.
In fact, they were 27 percent more likely to have gummed up arteries. And that sent their risk for a heart attack or stroke soaring.
Poor sleep linked to heart disease
But the surprises didn’t end there.
It turns out sleep quantity isn’t the only thing that could be putting your heart at risk. Sleep QUALITY is just as important.
Volunteers who struggled to stay asleep, awakened in the middle of the night, or were restless throughout the night were 34 percent more likely to develop heart disease.
In other words, consistently getting a bad night’s sleep is even MORE dangerous for your heart than not getting enough shuteye.
3 tricks for a better night’s sleep
If you find yourself struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep your heart could be paying the price.
These three simple shuteye tricks could help you finally get the kind of rest YOU deserve and your HEART needs.
Go to bed later:
When you struggle with sleep problems lots of folks will advise you to go to bed earlier. But if that common solution hasn’t improved your sleep quality, your heart is still in danger.
In that case, try staying up LONGER instead. You may be a natural night owl and fighting your nature can backfire on you. Aim for six to eight hours total, but make sure you’re actually ready for sleep when you crawl into bed.
Keep it consistent:
Make it a point to go to sleep at the same time every evening and get up at the same time every morning. And yes, that includes weekends whenever possible.
This will allow your body to anticipate your sleep times. And you will be more likely to get quality sleep when you hit the hay reducing your risk for heart disease.
Let the light in:
Expose yourself to as much light as you can during the day. Natural sunlight is best, of course. But a UV light or even just bright lightbulbs in your lamps help too.
The light sends a signal to your body that it’s time to be awake. And just as importantly, when you dial it back down at night it sends a message too. It tells your body it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
Both sleep QUANTITY and QUALITY are critical for your heart health. So it’s time to start taking both seriously.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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