Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.
It’s getting late into the night, but you really want to watch just one more episode in your Netflix binge. That voice in your head is reminding you of the eight hours of sleep you should be getting. It’s fine, you tell yourself. You’ll go to bed later tonight and just sleep in tomorrow. Problem solved, right? Unfortunately, no. Recent research indicates the time you choose to go to sleep can impact your cardiovascular health.
This study, published in the European Heart Journal – Digital Health, found that your bedtime can play a role in your risk for developing cardiovascular disease. The results of the study indicate that this correlation is more prevalent in women than men. Using data from accelerometers (motion detectors) worn by participants, the researchers found that those who chose to go to bed in the 10 p.m. hour—between 10–10:59 p.m.—had the lowest likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease. To come to this conclusion, researchers collected sleep data from the study’s participants over a period of seven days. Then, during an average follow-up period of 5.7 years, researchers noted which participants developed cardiovascular diseases.
What is the worst time to go to sleep?
One of the most important takeaways of the study? Try not to go to sleep after midnight. “The highest incidence of [cardiovascular disease] was found in participants with [sleep onset times] after midnight, with the incidence of [cardiovascular disease] falling with earlier [sleep onset times], before rising again with [sleep onset times before] 10 p.m.,” the study authors say.
Other research also points to the importance of sleep timing in relation to your heart health. A study published in the Journal of the American Heath Association earlier this year found that participants who went to bed past 11 p.m. and slept later than 8 a.m. were at a higher risk for congestive heart failure.
Beyond heart health, researchers from the study published in the European Heart Journal – Digital Health, pointed to the other factors potentially impacted by sleep timing, including blood pressure, quality of sleep, and atherosclerosis (a disease in the arteries).
If you already have trouble sleeping, the results of these studies may cause some increased stress. We’re here to help you get better sleep. These 15 yoga poses can help you fall asleep (and stay asleep). Try integrating these poses into your new 9:45 p.m. bedtime routine. Your heart—and your next-day self—will thank you for it.