Monday, December 6

This is how bedtime influences the risk of developing a heart problem: these researchers believe they have found the exact time to go to sleep

Go to sleeping between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. is associated with a lower risk of developing heart disease compared to going to bed before or after that time. Those are the conclusions of a published study this week by the European Society of Cardiology and which has followed 80,000 people for more than five years.

For years the dream is a topic that interests us and We are back on several occasions a the complex relationships between it and our health. Not for less: lack of sleep has been linked to immune problems, metabolic, psychological and cognitive; with disorders such as diabetes or from obesity. Leads us to be more tired and irritable, raises our stress levels and makes us take more risks and make more mistakes.

We knew it was also related to coronary heart disease; Nevertheless, when one explores in the bibliography one has the feeling that there is still a lot to study around heart problems. Because that study it is so interesting.

Is there a bedtime?

Researchers from the European Society of Cardiology turned to the British database UK Biobank. This repository accumulates medical and lifestyle information from more than 500,000 volunteers between the ages of 37 and 73. The problem is that a lot of that data is based on self-reports; that is, in what people tell us about their lifestyle. To get around this, the researchers focused on 88,926 adults (with a mean age of 61 years) that they had worn some kind of wrist device capable of recording a person’s physical activity for at least seven days.

During the 5.7-year period they analyzed, 3,172 of those 88,000 people had serious cardiovascular conditions. Analysis shows that those who go to sleep between 11:00 pm and midnight have a 12% higher risk of having these types of diseases. The risk rises to 25% for those who go to bed after midnight and stands at 24% for those who go to bed before 22:00.

“The body has an internal 24-hour clock that we call the circadian rhythm, which helps regulate our physical and mental functioning. While we cannot conclude causality from our study, the results suggest that early or late bedtime is more likely to alter that body clock and this has negative consequences for cardiovascular health ”, he explained David Plans, a neuroscientist at the University of Exeter and lead author of the study.

Plans is right both in the limitations of the study and in that the effect they have found seems large enough to take a closer look. However, there is one more element to consider. Now we can intuit that there are bands better than others to go to sleep, but it is innocent to think that these fringes have no relation to the sociocultural life in which they develop. Will the fringes be the same in a culture like the English one with large and early dinners than in one like the Spanish one with light and late dinners? That is what we will have to find out.

Above all, because if the European Society of Cardiology is right: the stripes are narrow enough not to take anything for granted.

Imagen | Mert Kahveci

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