Sleeping Less Than Six Hours a Night Can Contribute to Heart Disease

Lack of sleep or short duration sleep, sleep apnea and other sleep problems have been associated with increased cardiovascular disease. According to a study from the National Institute of Health, those sleeping less than six hours per night were 66% more likely to have hypertension than individuals who got seven to eight hours per night. The American Heart Association recommends seven to nine hours of sleep; variance in this sleep pattern has been linked with obesity, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.

11 Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

  1. Don’t drink or eat caffeine less than 3 hours before bedtime
  2. Turn off screens (phones, laptop, TV, and other electronics) at least an hour before you want to fall asleep
  3. Dim lights and limit noise, unless it’s soft instrumental music, or sleep-inducing sounds
  4. Have some chamomile herbal tea (non-caffeinated)
  5. Finish exercising at least three hours before bedtime
  6. Don’t take a nap in the afternoon
  7. Avoid alcohol before bed – it can actually deplete you of deep, REM sleep
  8. Keep your room cool (but not too cold)
  9. Stay on schedule – go to bed and wake up at the same time each day to avoid difficult adjustments in sleep patterns
  10. Take a warm bath before bed
  11. If you’re still feeling restless, get up and do something relaxing, such as reading, until you feel sleepy.

If you frequently experience trouble sleeping, see a doctor. It may be something that can easily be addressed. A rested body is a healthier, higher functioning one, so make it a priority for healthy living.

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