This Sleep Habit Could Be Damaging Your Heart

Getting enough sleep is essential for your health, but the quality of your sleep also matters. Experts carried out a study to investigate the link between sleep habits and cardiovascular health. This one bedtime practice was found to be worrisome.

In a recent study, 20 young adults were asked to sleep in a laboratory for two nights. Half of them were given a room lit by 100 lux (the same illumination as a TV screen), while the other half were given a completely dark room.

The scientists then attached equipment to monitor the participants’ blood levels. They also measured their heart rates and brain waves before the study candidates retired to bed. The results indicated that those who were in rooms with minimal light slept better than those who were housed in brighter accommodations. The first group also had increased insulin levels.

Sleeping With the Lights On

What the study revealed was that sleeping in a room that’s even modestly lit, could increase the chances of diabetes or heart problems.

These results supported other experiments that showed light exposure during sleep increased heart rate. These research studies concluded that illuminated bedrooms prevented individuals from getting the full restorative benefits of sleep.

The researchers noted that even though the participants were sleeping, their heart rates increased. This suggests that the sympathetic nervous system, which accelerates the heart rate, was being stimulated even when they were asleep. The constant activity puts the body in a fight-or-flight state, preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep.

Turn Off the Lights

If you can’t alter the light environment in your home, consider installing blackout curtains or a mask to block out light while you’re sleeping.

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