The American Heart Association (AHA) released the latest list of heart health indicators, Including sleep in the cardiovascular health checklists. It means most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Adequate sleep can promote health, improve brain function and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Boston, MA (Merxwire) – Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the leading causes of death in the world, and the World Health Organization estimates that CVD kills nearly 17.9 million people every year. According to the latest research report of the American Heart Association (AHA), sleep quality will affect the mortality rate of cardiovascular diseases. For the first time, “sleep quality” is included in the eight recommendations for protecting heart health, reminding adequate sleep, and cardiovascular health Very relevant.
Why sleep is linked to heart health? When you sleep, the body’s blood pressure and heart rate naturally decrease, and the cardiovascular system is rested and restored. However, long-term lack of sleep or poor sleep quality can lead to persistent high blood pressure, hormonal imbalances, or changes in appetite, resulting in weight gain, obesity, and metabolic disorders, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other diseases.
AHA calls on the public to maintain a healthy heart through a healthy lifestyle. The following are the eight recommendations of “Life’s Essential 8”:
1. Dietary recommendations “DASH diet,” mainly fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. Reduce red meat, processed meat, and sugary drinks in the diet, and do not eat too salty. In addition, it is recommended to try the “Mediterranean diet” method.
2. Maintain exercise habits, at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
3. Quit smoking! And both adults and children should avoid exposure to second-hand smoke.
4. Maintain healthy sleep; adequate sleep allows the body to rest, improves brain function, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. 10-16 hours for ages five and under, including naps; 9-12 hours for ages 6-12; 8-10 hours for ages 13-18.
5. Control weight; too fat or too thin is not good. Body mass index (BMI) is recommended to be maintained between 18.5-24.9, which is the best value for maintaining cardiovascular health.
6. Control cholesterol. Excessive low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) can lead to heart disease. Men over 45 years old and postmenopausal women should pay more attention to the level of cholesterol.
7. Control blood sugar. Most of our food will be converted into glucose or blood sugar as one of the body’s energy sources, but too high blood sugar can easily damage the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nervous system. Diabetics or pre-diabetics should control the situation for a long time.
8. Manage blood pressure. Excessive blood pressure will affect health. Normal blood pressure should be equal to or less than 120/80mmHg. When blood pressure reaches 130/85 mmHg, it is high. It can be diagnosed as high blood pressure if it is above 140/90 mmHg.
In addition to the above eight quantitative indicators, the American Heart Association also reminds us that individuals’ socioeconomic status, racial discrimination, education level, employment status, health care system, depression and loneliness, etc., will all affect cardiovascular health. But what remains unchanged is that maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and having a good night’s sleep are all critical factors in maintaining a healthy heart.