The American Heart Association has recently amended its list of tips for a healthy cardiovascular system, adding sleep to it.
The list, published on their official website, is actually a questionnaire that assesses how healthy a person’s cardiovascular system is. On the 29th of June, the list was changed from “Life’s Essential 7” to “Life’s Essential 8”, undergoing the first modification since 2010, when it was first implemented.
According to CNN, the “new list retained the original categories: diet, physical activity, nicotine exposure, body mass index, blood lipids, blood glucose and blood pressure.”
But why was sleep added to the list?
The chief medical officer for prevention from the American Health Association, Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, stated that the decision to add sleep to the list came after the analysis of multiple research results that showed how important sleep is for the heart and not only.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most adults will require around seven to nine hours of sleep, while children and teenagers need about eleven hours of sleep every night.
However, apart from getting enough sleep, it is also essential to have quality sleep. This means that your sleep sessions should be uninterrupted, and should take place in a dark and quiet environment, at a temperature that allows your body to relax and fully go into rest mode. This will allow you to go through all the necessary sleep cycles, which include REM and non-REM sleep, the latter ensuring the deep sleep that brings you all the health benefits.
If your sleep is fragmented, preventing you from reaching the deep sleep state, your risk of developing diabetes and obesity increases, due to higher levels of blood pressure and blood sugar. In turn, these affections will impact the health of your heart, increasing your chances of heart failure.