Falling asleep at this time may be safest for your heart, new study shows


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  4 weeks ago  •  19 comments

By:   Linda Carroll

Falling asleep at this time may be safest for your heart, new study shows
What's the best time to fall asleep? The time you go to bed may impact your risk for heart disease.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

The time you go to bed may affect your risk for heart disease. In fact, researchers say, there is a heart health sweet spot for falling asleep: from 10 to 11 p.m.

An analysis of data from more than 88,000 adults tracked for around six years revealed a 12 percent greater risk among those who dropped off from 11 to 11:59 p.m. and a 25 percent higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease among people who fell asleep at midnight or later. Falling asleep earlier than 10 p.m. was associated with a 24 percent increase in risk, according to a report published Monday in the European Heart Journal—Digital Health.

"The body has a 24-hour internal clock, called circadian rhythm, that helps regulate physical and mental functioning," a co-author of the study, David Plans, a neuroscientist and experimental psychologist who is a senior lecturer in organizational neuroscience at the University of Exeter in the U.K., said in a statement. "While we cannot conclude causation from our study, the results suggest that early or late bedtimes may be more likely to disrupt the body clock, with adverse consequences for cardiovascular health."

To explore how different bedtimes might affect heart health, Plans and his colleagues turned to UK Biobank, which maintains information about more than 500,000 volunteers ages 37 to 73 who were recruited from 2006 to 2010 and provided information about their demographics, lifestyles and health. Their physical health was also assessed.

The researchers focused on 88,926 adults, average age 61, who wore accelerometers (devices that record when a person moves) on their wrists for seven days. With the accelerometer data, the researchers determined the times of sleep onset and waking.


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During an average follow-up period of 5.7 years, 3,172 of the volunteers (3.6 percent) experienced cardiovascular events, such as strokes, heart attacks or heart failure — incidents were highest among people with sleep times at midnight or later and lowest among those who fell asleep from 10 to 10:59 p.m.

Even when a number of factors were taken into account — including age, gender, sleep duration, sleep irregularity, being an early bird or a night owl, smoking status, body-mass index, diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and socioeconomic status — falling asleep regularly at midnight or later was still linked to the highest increased risk of heart disease.

The increased risk was more pronounced in women who fell asleep later. Men were at greater heart risk only when they fell asleep earlier in the evening, before 10 p.m.

The new study "really reinforces what we know from a cardiovascular risk prevention standpoint — sleep is a risk factor," said Dr. Francoise Marvel, an assistant professor and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Digital Health Lab at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. "But there is a huge important gap to recognize: There is no evidence to suggest at this point that improving sleep will effectively reduce cardiovascular events, like heart attack and stroke."

Earlier studies have suggested that sleep duration is important, Marvel said. The new study didn't look at wake-up times along with sleep onset, but the American Heart Association's primary prevention guidelines suggest that people who sleep less than six hours are at risk for hypertension, which is a major cardiovascular risk factor, she said.

The study is especially "intriguing" when it comes to the findings about women, said Dr. Roxana Mehran, an interventional cardiologist and a professor of medicine, cardiology and population health science and policy at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S., according to the American Heart Association.

"So we need to figure out anything that is more important or less important for preventing heart disease in women," Mehran said.

Still, she said, the findings need to be taken with a grain of salt. The new research shows an association but doesn't prove that falling asleep either later or earlier than the hour from 10 to 11 p.m. causes heart disease. Other factors may be the real culprits, such as stress, anxiety and depression, she said.

Linda Carroll

Linda Carroll is a regular health contributor to NBC News and Reuters Health. She is coauthor of "The Concussion Crisis: Anatomy of a Silent Epidemic" and "Out of the Clouds: The Unlikely Horseman and the Unwanted Colt Who Conquered the Sport of Kings."


jrDiscussion - desc
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    4 weeks ago

Ah oh! Dead Perrie walking!

Junior Participates
1.1  Freewill  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1    4 weeks ago
Dead Perrie walking!

I hear ya!  Lucky if I'm asleep by 1:00 or 2:00am most nights.

Professor Principal
1.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  Freewill @1.1    4 weeks ago

Same here.

Professor Principal
1.2  sandy-2021492  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1    4 weeks ago

I'm with ya.  Night owl from birth.  Dad joked that I was the most "unsleepingest" baby he'd ever seen.

Sparty On
PhD Principal
1.3  Sparty On  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1    4 weeks ago

Lol .... if that was the only problem i had .... i'd be golden

Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2  Buzz of the Orient    4 weeks ago

Almost every night I go to sleep during that magic hour - 10 pm to 11 pm, and I never knew it was the best time for my heart.  Maybe that's why I'm still alive - going to be 85 in a couple of months. 

Junior Silent
2.1  zuksam  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2    4 weeks ago

Me too, I'm a morning person I'm up by 5. I'm glad there's finally something I'm doing that's good for my heart.

Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  zuksam @2.1    4 weeks ago

I usually wake up between 4 and 5 but continue to rest in bed and get up at 6 every morning.

Professor Principal
3  Kavika     4 weeks ago

10 to 11 pm is a bit early for me to go to sleep. I just switched the magic hour to after midnight.

Wait, is that you Eric?

al Jizzerror
Sophomore Expert
4  al Jizzerror    4 weeks ago

The time I go to bed and the time I go to sleep are unrelated because I have insomnia.

Sometimes I lay awake for hours trying to convince myself that at least I'm getting some rest.

Sometimes I get up and surf the Net.

Sometimes I wonder if that freckle face girl in the picture below is ever gonna swallow that tic tac. 

Professor Principal
4.1  Ender  replied to  al Jizzerror @4    4 weeks ago

Same. Sometimes I can just lay there.

Sparty On
PhD Principal
4.1.1  Sparty On  replied to  Ender @4.1    4 weeks ago

Stay off the electronics for a couple hours before you hit the rack.

It helps me fall asleep tremendously

Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
5  Trout Giggles    4 weeks ago

I'm usually in bed NLT 8 PM most nights...sometimes a lot earlier

al Jizzerror
Sophomore Expert
5.1  al Jizzerror  replied to  Trout Giggles @5    4 weeks ago
I'm usually in bed NLT 8 PM most nights...sometimes a lot earlier


That gives you plenty of Mr. Giggles time.

No wonder you giggle.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
5.2  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Trout Giggles @5    4 weeks ago

Oh wow, my day is not even half over, LOL.

Just Jim NC TttH
Senior Principal
6  Just Jim NC TttH    4 weeks ago

I go to sleep usually between 10-11 pm. My problem is I wake up around 4:00 or 4:30 every morning during the week and never really get back to sleep prior to my alarm going off at 6:15. Brain starts thinking about the upcoming day.....................sucks LOL

Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
6.1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @6    4 weeks ago

Poor you!

Professor Guide
7  evilgenius    4 weeks ago

I'm usually asleep by 10 and up by 5.

Freshman Silent
8  Dragon    4 weeks ago

I am usually in bed by 8/9, read for awhile before sleeping. I am a morning person, up by 5 am, even though retired for several years, I still wake up early and enjoy beauty of morning sunrise and quiet before husband awakes. I typically am out the door for my walk by 6:30/7 am, weather permitting. 


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