The secret to getting more sleep is in your routine.
Are you someone trying to maintain healthy heart habits during the work week? Most often, working people think about trying to manage their exercise and healthy eating habits during the work week.
Although these are both excellent habits to cultivate, there is another habit to consider as you try to maintain heart health. Did you know that getting the right amount of sleep on workdays is also a habit that can keep your heart healthy?
A recent research study focused on how sleep habits of non-obese people can affect blood pressure during the work week. They studied 2,887 individuals and studied how sleep intervals less than six hours and more than eight hours affected blood pressure during the workday. Investigators found that both short sleep duration (< 6 h) and long sleep duration (≥ 8 h) correlated with higher systolic blood pressure on workdays for women. Keep in mind, these are non-obese females. For both women and for people in middle or old age, they saw even higher blood pressure levels.
So, what does this mean for lifestyle habits? Getting the right amount of sleep is not just about monitoring mood or exhaustion. This study confirms again that sleep is essential to heart health, especially for women and the elderly. If you are in these groups, and you struggle with blood pressure control or you are close to being diagnosed with hypertension, consider your sleep schedule.
What’s the secret to getting more sleep?
- Routine, routine, routine – Whether it’s the weekend or weekdays, stick to it!
- Get the right kind of light during the day – It’s likely you need more natural light and less blue light from screens. Especially an hour or more before bed, put away your technology.
- Consider your diet – Don’t eat or drink close to bedtime, and recognize that what you eat and drink during the day affects your sleep as well.
- Find an exercise routine too – Exercise is also correlated with better sleep, but avoid exercise close to bedtime.
- Sleep environment – Are you doing all these things and still struggling to get good sleep? Try making sure your sleep environment stays cool, dark, and quiet for optimal sleep.
Want to hear more about sleep and healthy living? Check out other ALYKA stories on sleep:
The Pulse on Bedtime Procrastination
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Association between sleep duration on workdays and blood pressure in non-overweight/obese population in NHANES: a public database research