Risk of Heart Disease

In our fast-paced world, late nights have become a common lifestyle choice. However, recent studies suggest this habit may have more impact on our health than we realise. Going to bed late has been linked to an increased cardiovascular risk, especially in women.

Here, we’ll explore the link between late bedtimes and an increased risk of heart disease, and how our sleep patterns can influence our health.

Going to bed after 11pm increases cardiovascular risk

A recent UK Biobank cohort study has revealed a concerning link between late sleep onset and cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The analysis examined data from 88,026 participants wearing a wrist-worn accelerometer. It found that those who fell asleep after 11 pm had an increased risk of developing cardiovascular issues. This link persisted even after adjusting for factors like sleep duration and established CVD risk factors.

Interestingly, going to bed too early was also found to increase the risk of heart disease. Those who get to sleep before 10pm were discovered to have the same risk factors as those who go to bed too late.

Women with a later bedtime have a greater risk of heart disease

The study also discovered late sleep onset and increased CVD risk was more prevalent in females. Women going to bed after 11pm showed a stronger link to cardiovascular risks compared to men.

While it is recommended to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night, women experience more sleep disturbances and are more likely to suffer from insomnia. Progesterone and oestrogen play an important role in falling asleep, and when these hormones decline in menopause, women can struggle achieving the optimum required quantity and quality of night’s sleep.

The research suggests that sleep onset timing could be a crucial factor in assessing and managing cardiovascular risk. It could also potentially lead to the use of sleep parameters as indicators for cardiovascular health.

Why getting a good night’s sleep is so important

Adequate and timely sleep is crucial for our heart health. Quality sleep helps regulate stress hormones, maintain a healthy blood pressure, and keep your heart and blood vessels functioning properly. Disrupted or inadequate sleep on the other hand, can lead to a variety of health issues, including increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

It’s not just about the quantity of sleep, but also the quality and timing that play a significant role in maintaining a healthy heart.

Of course, your bedtime routine and sleep patterns are just one aspect of heart health. There are multiple factors that contribute to your cardiovascular well-being. For example, family history, your medical history and lifestyle habits can all influence your cardio health.

If you’re concerned about your heart health or think your sleep patterns might be affecting it, schedule an appointment with Dr Konrad Grosser. He can organise a cardio health screening to check your heart health and can provide recommendations and advice for improving sleep patterns.