Everyone knows about the importance of sleep. But could the time when you actually fall asleep also matter to your health?
The Right Time
According to researchers from the University of Exeter, the best time to fall asleep appears to be between 10 and 11 PM. The team based their conclusions on data collected from 88,000 adults participating in the UK Biobank study. Data from this group was collected with wrist-worn accelerometers. Over the span of six years, more than 3,100 subjects developed cardiovascular disease.
Compared to those who fell asleep at other times of the night, those who conked out between 10 and 11 o’clock were less likely to develop heart issues. Specifically, the rate of cardiovascular disease in this group was 25 percent lower than those who fell asleep before 10PM or after midnight. Likewise, those who fell into the 11-midnight time range were 12 percent less likely to develop this condition.
An Important Cycle
To put these findings to the test, the researchers took into account a number of other factors that could help explain the findings, many of which are listed below:
- Sleep Duration
In addition, a person’s history of diabetes, blood pressure and high cholesterol were taken into account. Even with these factors added to the mix, the 10 to 11 o’clock time frame maintained its advantage over its competitors. Study contributor David Plans offered his analysis regarding his team’s work. “The body has a 24-hour internal clock, called circadian rhythm, that helps regulate physical and mental functioning,” said Plans, a psychologist at the University of Exeter. “While we cannot conclude causation from our study, the results suggest that early or late bedtimes may be more likely to disrupt the body clock, with adverse consequences for cardiovascular health.”