I remember how I used to read about biorhythms in the newspaper when I was in grade school. They were published in the newspaper alongside the horoscope and comics. But the science was never taken seriously, and it was never discussed in a serious manner.
That’s why a growing interest in circadian rhythms is somewhat surprising to me. Nonetheless, I’m glad to see it. Because I have always understood how a balanced body clock relates to good health.
And now, a new study in the European Heart Journal shows you could even slash your risk of heart disease simply by going to bed at a certain time.
Here’s everything you need to know…
The “perfect” bedtime
Just to be clear, we’re not talking about sleep duration today—we’re talking about sleep timing. And more specifically, what bedtime is healthiest for your heart.
This study featured more than 85,000 subjects. Researchers collected data on demographics, lifestyle, and health through questionnaires and assessments. They also collected data on sleep and wake times over a week, using a wrist-worn device.
Follow-up lasted between five and six years on average. During that time, 3.6 percent of the subjects developed heart disease. But this risk was highest among subjects who went to be after midnight… and lowest among those with bedtimes between 10:00 and 11:00 p.m.
Compared to this “perfect” bedtime, subjects who hit the hay at midnight or later had a 25 percent higher risk of heart disease. But that also doesn’t mean that earlier is always better…
In fact, the risk of heart disease was 24 percent higher for people who fell asleep before 10:00 p.m., too.
Timing really is everything
Again, this particular research focused on the best time to fall asleep (not just which time to get into bed). And that’s important, because while I have seen plenty of studies that deal with sleep duration and health, this is the first I’ve come across that really zeroed in on timing.
So, why is turning in after midnight so dangerous? The likely answer is because you’ll end up missing the morning light, which plays an important role in resetting our body clock each day.
(Remember, this body clock regulates all of your body’s functions over the course of a 24-hour period. And deviating from your natural cycle come with some very real risks, as I reported yesterday.)
But it’s not the only factor.
Everything from mealtimes to exercise times can make a difference, too. In fact, I devoted an entire feature to exactly this subject back in the March 2018 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (The deadly cost of a broken “body clock”). Subscribers have access to that issue and more in my archives. So if you haven’t already, consider signing up to gain access to this exclusive, vital information.
In the meantime, take a closer look at your bedtime and then, I encourage you to adjust as necessary.
“Bedtime linked with heart health.” Science Daily, 11/08/2021. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/11/211108193627.htm)