Getting a good night’s sleep could be an important step to keeping your heart healthy.
A leading panel of United States cardiologists from the American Heart Association (AHA) have added sleep duration to their list of ‘essential’ steps to maintain a healthy heart.
Back in 2010, the AHA published a list of seven tips for good cardiovascular health, including a healthy diet, regular exercise and quitting smoking.
Now they have added a new factor to the list – sleeping well for between seven to nine hours a night.
“The new metric of sleep duration reflects the latest research findings: sleep impacts overall health, and people who have healthier sleep patterns manage health factors such as weight, blood pressure or risk for Type 2 diabetes more effectively,” said AHA President Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, who leads the advisory group.
“In addition, advances in ways to measure sleep, such as with wearable devices, now offer people the ability to reliably and routinely monitor their sleep habits at home.”
More than 12 years after they published their original list, Jones and his team decided the time had come for an update. Four of the original metrics have been redefined for consistency and new clinical guidelines, while a good night’s sleep has now been added. As a result, their ‘Life’s Essential 7’ list of tips to keep a healthy heart is now ‘Life’s Essential 8’.
Their guidelines are also good news for kids who struggle to get out of bed – as ideal daily sleep ranges for children are pitched at 10-16 hours per 24 hours for ages five and younger; 9-12 hours for ages 6-12 years; and 8-10 hours for ages 13-18 years. Those of us who are over 18 can’t bank on a lie-in for a healthy heart, however, as the recommended sleep duration is seven to nine hours.