Today’s Solutions: October 26, 2021

One more reason to get that good night’s sleep: people with healthy sleep habits may help protect themselves from heart failure. At least, those are the findings of a recent study that analyzed the relationship between healthy sleep patterns and heart failure.

The study, which looked at data from more than 400,000 adults in the UK, found that those with the healthiest sleep patterns were more than 40 percent less likely to develop heart failure over 10 years, compared with people with the least healthy habits.

As part of the study, each subject was allocated an overall sleep quality score based on five specific measures: sleep duration, insomnia, snoring, daytime sleepiness, and being a “morning” person or not.

The researchers found that those subjects who’d reported all five healthy sleep habits were 42 percent less likely to suffer from an episode of heart failure compared to those who’d reported none or only one.

This rate of risk reduction was calculated after the team accounted for people’s exercise, diet, smoking, and drinking habits, as well as medical conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.

Like most observational research, however, the study does pose some limitations. Since sleep behaviors are self-reported, it can often lead to recall bias. And while the findings can’t prove a causal connection between sleep behaviors and heart failure, they do suggest that improving sleeping habits is an important intervention for both clinicians and patients looking to take better care of their cardiovascular health.

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