If you’re not getting enough sleep, your heart may be paying the price. Find out why sleep is now considered a key factor for a healthy heart.
According to a recent presidential advisory from the American Heart Association (AHA), sleep is one of Life’s Essential 8. Previously known as Life’s Simple 7, the current advisory describes eight important metrics that can help maintain a healthy heart.
The seven original components include diet, physical activity levels, exposure to cigarette smoke, body mass index (BMI), blood cholesterol, blood glucose, and cholesterol levels. According to the advisory, individuals with ideal levels in all seven components would have optimal cardiovascular health (CVH). Moreover, various studies suggest that having an ideal CVH leads to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, a longer lifespan, and better overall health.
Making Necessary Revisions
While the original advisory shed light on important factors, experts have noted some of the limitations in the original construct. For this reason, the AHA revised the advisory to include sleep as an eighth component.
In addition, the new construct includes criteria for assessing CVH in children and pregnant people and also includes evidence from studies that show the close connection between CVH and brain health.
The original construct quantified the metrics using three categories: poor, intermediate, or ideal. However, using these categories made the construct less sensitive to health changes over time or differences among individuals.
For example, intermediate physical activity levels referred to doing moderate to vigorous physical activity for 1 to 149 minutes. In other words, engaging in a few minutes of physical activity or 149 minutes would count equally as “intermediate” physical activity levels.
In the new revisions, the AHA uses a continuous scale from 0 to 100 and the average score of all eight components is used to measure someone’s overall CVH. As a result, they can better quantify the levels of each health factor and an individual’s cardiovascular health.
Sleep: An Essential Factor
According to studies, too much or too little sleep may lead to an increase in your coronary heart disease risk. Moreover, the quality of your sleep can independently predict the risk of a cardiovascular event.
“The new metric of sleep duration reflects the latest research findings: sleep impacts overall health, and people who have healthier sleep patterns manage health factors such as weight, blood pressure, or risk for Type 2 diabetes more effectively,” says Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, president of the AHA, and lead the advisory writing group.
Maintaining Optimal Heart Health
By following Life’s Essential 8, you’ll be taking some important steps in maintaining optimal heart health. Not only should you aim for getting enough quality sleep, but you should also improve on the other factors.
By exercising regularly and eating healthily, you’ll be positively affecting all the other factors on the list. In addition, you can take Circulation Boost as a supplement if you need extra help. Its ingredients promote circulation, blood pressure, energy levels, and more. Give your health the support it deserves by following Life’s Essential 8 and taking Circulation Boost.