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According to a new study, people who go to bed between 10 and 11 pm may be at a lower risk for developing heart disease.

Although there are many uncontrollable variables that can affect heart health such as genetics, about 80% all cardiovascular disease casesLifestyle changes can be made to reduce your risk of developing heart disease. You can reduce your chances of developing heart disease by taking steps like quitting smoking, moving more frequently and eating high-fiber food.

And new research published in the European Heart Journal – Digital Health this week suggests there’s another simple but potentially powerful lifestyle tweak that can help: Going to bed at a certain time.

The risk of developing heart disease is lower for people who sleep between 11 and 10 p.m.

“The body has a 24-hour internal clock, called circadian rhythm, that helps regulate physical and mental functioning,” study author David Plans, head of research at the British health care technology company Huma, said in a statement.

“While we cannot conclude causation from our study,” Plans added, “the results suggest that early or late bedtimes may be more likely to disrupt the body clock, with adverse consequences for cardiovascular health.”

Powerful circadian rhythms

Plans and his colleagues analyzed the data of more than 88,000 participants during the UK BiobankA huge database of lifestyle and health data is available to researchers at. Participant answered questions regarding their health and were fitted with a device to track when they wake up each morning. About 60% of participants in the study were females and their average age was 61.

According to the research, people who fell asleep before 10:59 or later were at 25% greater risk of developing heart disease. People who fell asleep between 11:00 p.m. (11:59) had a 11% higher risk. The risk of developing cardiovascular disease was 24% higher for those who fall asleep after 10:59 p.m.

The researchers did what they could to control for other factors known to increase a person’s risk for heart disease, like smoking, high blood pressure and socioeconomic statusIt was. These researchers found that the link between bedtime and health was valid.

While the new study cannot establish cause and effect, the researchers believe their findings may have a lot to do with a person’s natural circadian rhythms ― the internal 24-hour sleep clock closely tied to the light and dark cycle of the sun. Researchers believe that disrupting this internal clock can have a negative impact on the heart.

This certainly isn’t the first hypothesis of its kind. Circadian rhythms can be found to affect many bodily systems, and previous research has shown that people with atypical bedtimes — particularly the millions of Americans who do shift work — are at greater risk for heart disease. Working outside of regular work hours can be difficult for some people. But shift work is also believed to impact people’s underlying biological systems.

“Our study indicates that the optimum time to go to sleep is at a specific point in the body’s 24-hour cycle and deviations may be detrimental to health,” Plans said. Plans, along with his co-researchers, disclosed that Huma funded their study but had no part in the data collection and analysis.

Sleep is another reason to prioritize.

The researchers behind the study believe that their findings provide powerful clues.

“If our findings are confirmed in other studies, sleep timing and basic sleep hygiene could be a low-cost public health target for lowering risk of heart disease,” Plans said.

However, it is impossible to control your bedtime, especially if you work long hours or get up early every morning.

But to the extent it’s possible, sleep experts say you should be relatively consistent about when you go to sleep and when you wake up — and aim for a bedtime that means you can get at least seven to eight hours of sleep. Avoid large meals, caffeine, and create a dark, quiet environment for sleep.

As more and more research shows, doing what you can to prioritize good sleep isn’t just good for you the next day. You can really make a difference to your health over the long term.

Source: HuffPost.com.

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