If you’re a millennial who wakes up at 6am every day, you’re not just more proactive than sleepy heads – you could have a healthier heart than them too.
According to a study by a team of researchers at the University of Delaware, the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and the University of Arizona College of Medicine, it’s not just about the hours you clock in when you go to bed. It’s about getting the right amount of sleep at the right times.
Researchers found that sleeping too much, as well as too little, could actually lead to bad heart health.
Freda Patterson said, “Oftentimes, health messages say we need to get more sleep, but this may be too simplistic. Going to bed earlier and getting adequate sleep was associated with better heart health behaviors.”
The study, which looked at 439,933 adults between the ages of 40-69 during 2006-2010, attempted to look at patterns between the main causes of cardiovascular trouble – smoking, poor diet and a lack of exercise.
Participants in the study were asked questioned about how physically active they were, how long they spend watching TV or playing computer games, if and how much they smoked, and how much fruit and vegetables they ate.
It determined a short sleep as less than six hours, adequate sleep as seven to eight, and a long sleep as nine or more. They were also asked if they considered themselves a morning or evening person.
The results were thus: those who fell into the shorter and longer sleeping camps, or went to bed later were more likely to smoke, lead sedentary lifestyles and eat less greens than the “adequate sleepers” and early-to-bedders.
So for the slumberous among us, who just can’t get out of bed when the alarm goes off – here’s yet another reason to wind back the clock and jump out of bed more than fifteen minutes before you’re due to leave the house.
Become a weekday warrior. Your heart (and just about everything else) will thank you for it later.