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Friday, June 7, 2013

Women, Sleep and Heart Disease

Despite the mounting evidence showing the importance of sleep, many of us get too little sleep. 

A study out of San Francisco has now shown that this lack of sleep, particularly in women may contribute to developing significant coronary artery disease. 

The study found that poor sleep, particularly waking too early, appears to play a significant role in raising unhealthy levels of inflammation among women (not men) with coronary heart disease. 

These findings provide evidence that inflammation may serve as a key biological pathway through which poor sleep contributes to the progression of heart disease in women. This study also helps to shine a light on the potential gender differences that physiologically may exist between men and women. 

Please remember to get your sleep and practice healthy sleep habits:

  • maintaining a regular sleep-wake schedule
  • avoiding caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and other chemicals that interfere with sleep
  • making your bedroom a comfortable sleep environment
  • establishing a calming pre-sleep routine
  • going to sleep when you're truly tired
  • not watching the clock at night
  • using light to your advantage by exposing yourself to light during the day and limiting light exposure in the evening
  • not napping too close to your regular bedtime
  • eating and drinking enough—but not too much or too soon before bedtime
  • exercising regularly—but not too soon before bedtime

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