As the world continues to grapple with the fallout from COVID-19, there are a number of things that are out of our control, but making sure we continue to get quality sleep isn’t one of them, Psychology Today reports.
If you can find a way to keep a regular sleep schedule, it can pay major dividends for your health — especially when it comes to your heart. With enough to worry about right now, the last thing you need is to increase your risk of running into cardiovascular problems.
If you have a habit of falling asleep early one night, then going to bed at 3 a.m. the next night, only to fall asleep again at midnight the night after, you’re putting yourself at a higher risk of heart attack and heart disease. Research from Harvard University last year drove this point home.
The study followed more than 2,000 adults for six years and focused on their regular sleep time. A regular sleep time was defined as falling asleep within the same 30-minute window on average. For example, if you fell asleep at 11 p.m. one night and 11:27 p.m. the next night, you were still within the parameters of your regular sleep time. But straying far from your regular sleep schedule, the researchers found, wasn’t great for your health. Participants with the most irregular sleep schedule, where there was a 90-minute gap on average between their regular sleep times over the course of a week, doubled their risk of cardiovascular disease within the next five years.