New research shows that disorderly bedtime routine and chronic sleep loss may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers explained that going to sleep at the same time every night has a restorative effect on heart function.
People who get enough sleep and do not juggle with their bedtimes help their heart cope with stress hormones better than people with a chaotic lifestyle. The findings may explain why shift workers develop heart conditions later on.
The study also shows that people who are chronically sleep deprived and have no consideration for bedtime routines have higher a heart rate and increased levels of heart-damaging stress hormones.
The findings are consistent with previous studies which had shown that sleep loss and chaotic sleep patterns can lead to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and bodyweight troubles. But those studies failed to find an explanation for the phenomenon.
The authors of the recent study believe that the restorative function of regular sleep may be the answer. Researchers think that sleep deprivation affects the body’s internal clock which tries to match bodily functions with the succession of day and night over 24 hours.
The clock gathers information about the succession through the amount of light which reaches the eye and through temperature shifts from day to night. The body clock sets the best wake times and bedtimes based on the seasons and other factors.
It also makes a person a morning person or a night owl. Past studies had shown that altering this rhythm can lead to negative health consequences later in life. And the most exposed are people working in night shifts and people traveling a lot between time zones.
Lead author of the research Dr. Daniela Grimaldi noted that the modern society has pushed people into sleeping less and more disorderly. Additionally, there are people who lack a bedtime routine because their jobs don’t allow them to have one.
Shift workers are the group who are the most exposed to body clock-related health issues because sleep cannot have a restorative effect on their hearts if they fail to have a bedtime routine.
Furthermore, people who intentionally become sleep deprived for consecutive days also boost their risk of cardiovascular events later on. What’s more, the negative effects of such habits can be enhanced if coupled with disorderly feeding and bedtime routines, researchers added.
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