A new study on sleep patterns suggests that a regular bedtime and wake time are just as important for heart and metabolic health among older adults.
In a study of 1,978 older adults publishing recently in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers at Duke Health and the Duke Clinical Research Institute found people with irregular sleep patterns weighed more, had higher blood sugar, higher blood pressure, and a higher projected risk of having a heart attack or stroke within 10 years than those who slept and woke at the same times every day.
Irregular sleepers were also more likely to report depression and stress than regular sleepers, both of which are tied to heart health.
The findings show an association — not a cause-and-effect relationship — between sleep regularity and heart and metabolic health.
“From our study, we can’t conclude that sleep irregularity results in health risks, or whether health conditions affect sleep,” said Jessica Lunsford-Avery, Ph.D., an assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioural sciences and the study’s lead author.
“Perhaps all of these things are impacting each other.”
How can this translate into the number of people we see asking for something “to help me sleep”?
Reintroducing the strict timetable we used when we had young children works for adults as well.
Remember those days……..bath or shower, then dinner, then quiet time with some reading and some fruit, then bed……night after night after night.
It’s amazing how many people you can help by taking them through the simple strategy of a sleep process.
Sure, add additional help with a herbal option too – we are in a society these days when “I want a pill for instant success please” is of prime concern.
But emphasize the process and the outcome, and you will have a friend for life.