What’s the best time to sleep?

alt="teddy bear" What's the perfect bedtime? (Image: Sandhya Raghavan)

Thus spake Benjamin Franklin: “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” But how early is early? New research has zeroed in on the perfect window for your bedtime. A study published in the  European Heart Journal says that the best time to go to bed is between 10 pm and 11 pm. If you hit the bed regularly at these timings, you are winning at life, because it’s associated with improved heart health.

But early sleepers beware. Even if you go to bed before 10 pm, you could be doing some serious harm to your heart.

How important is sleep for heart health?

There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that poor sleep health could be tied to poor heart health. In today’s day and age (sorry for the corny phrase), people have been sacrificing sleep for recreation and work.

Tips to fall asleep: Try a warm foot bath for better sleep

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the appropriate sleep duration for adults is between 7 and 9 hours a night. More often than not, it’s a luxury given our lifestyle.

Poor sleep ups the risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease and stroke. So sleep forms a cornerstone of good health and longevity.

What the study says

According to the recent study, 88, 026 participants provided their accelerometer data of when they went to sleep. Researchers studied the association of cardiovascular diseases and the subjects’ sleep onset time (time you fall asleep). Onset times before 10 pm and after 11 pm were linked to the risk of heart ailments. The association was stronger in women than in men.

How to prepare for bedtime

Sleeplessness is a plague that has been badgering our generation obsessed with work on one hand and internet addiction on the other. On weekdays, work keeps us up. And on weekends, that mantle is taken up by streaming sites.

The proverbial 8 hours of sleep is a distant dream, no pun intended.

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To ensure a clean sleeping habit, banish electronics from your bedside, leave a gap of 3 hours after dinner time and keep your sleeping space neat and clean. If you must use the phone, tune in to podcasts or audiobooks to lull you to sleep. May I recommend Forensic Files and Peter Thomas’ silky smooth narration?