Tue. Nov 30th, 2021


Madrid

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The time at which we go to sleep can be fundamental to our cardiovascular health. Go to sleep between 22:00 and 23:00 it is associated with a lower risk of developing heart disease compared to doing it early or later. The cause? Our internal clock

“The body has an internal 24-hour clock, called the circadian rhythm, which helps regulate physical and mental functioning,” explains the author of the study, David Plans, from
University of Exeter (UK)
, which nevertheless acknowledges that although the cause-effect relationship of our study cannot be concluded, “the results suggest that going to bed earlier or later is more likely to alter the body clock, with adverse consequences for cardiovascular health.”

There are many studies that have investigated the link between sleep duration and cardiovascular disease, but the relationship between sleep schedule and heart disease is poorly explored. This work examined the relationship between objectively measured rather than self-reported sleep onset in a large sample of adults.

The association with increased cardiovascular risk was stronger in women, and only the onset of sleep before 10 p.m. remained significant for men

The study included 88,026 people from the UK Biobank recruited between 2006 and 2010. The average age was 61 years (range 43 to 79 years) and 58% were women. Data on sleep onset and wake-up time were collected over seven days using a wrist accelerometer..

Participants completed demographic, lifestyle, health, and physical assessments and questionnaires. They were subsequently monitored for a new diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, which was defined as heart attack, heart failure, chronic ischemic heart disease, stroke, and transient ischemic attack.

During an average follow-up of 5.7 years, 3,172 participants (3.6%) developed cardiovascular disease. The incidence was higher in those who went to bed or before or after 10 pm or 11 pm.

The researchers analyzed the association between sleep onset and cardiovascular events after adjusting for a number of factors: age, gender, sleep duration, sleep irregularity (defined as varied times to go to sleep and wake up), self-reported chronotype (early riser or night owl), smoking, body mass index, diabetes, blood pressure, blood cholesterol and socioeconomic status.

Thus, they saw that, compared with people who went to bed in this period, 10 and 11 at night, those who did it before or after had a risk of between 12% and 25% higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

The association was stronger in women, and only the onset of sleep before 10 p.m. remained significant for men.

Bedtime and basic sleep hygiene could be a low-cost public health goal to reduce the risk of heart disease

“Our study indicates that the optimal time to go to sleep is at a specific point in the body’s 24-hour cycle and deviations can be detrimental to health. The time with the highest risk was after midnight, possibly because it can reduce the probability of seeing the morning light, which resets the biological clock.

Plans believes that the reasons for the stronger association seen between sleep onset and cardiovascular disease in women are unclear. “It may be that there is a difference in the way the endocrine system responds to a disruption in the circadian rhythm.”

For the expert, although the findings do not show causality, “Bedtime has become a potential cardiac risk factorregardless of other risk factors and sleep characteristics. If our findings are confirmed in other studies, bedtime and basic sleep hygiene could be a low-cost public health goal to reduce the risk of heart disease. ‘

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