A new study claims that irregular sleep and inconsistent bedtimes can pave the way for a lot of issues, including obesity, high blood sugar and hypertension.
While we all know it’s important to get eight hours of sleep a day, sometimes we don’t always hit the mark.
This can result in feeling tired and sluggish the morning after, and may even result in us taking a nap or two during the day.
And while this may make us feel more refreshed in the short-term, apparently it can cause a lot of health problems in the long run.
Research indicated that a regular and consistent sleep schedule is key in regulating our metabolism, meaning that better sleep is liked to our weight .
The study was conducted by scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and says that even if we’re getting enough hours of sleep, irregularity can be disruptive to our metabolism.
The team monitored a group of over 2,000 men and women aged between 45 and 84 for six years.
Results showed that a better sleep schedule encourages heart health which can improve other areas in the body. Our bodies operate by the circadian rhythms which, when functioning correctly, let us know when to eat and sleep through changing hormone levels.
But when our sleep is inconsistent or we don’t get enough, this is when our body is thrown off course and isn’t too sure of what to do.
So if you’re only catching bits of sleep here and there throughout the night and take naps during the day, you might want to rethink your pattern.
Sleep tips for best health:
Try to go to bed and wake up at around the same time every day. Being consistent is key.
Beware of drastic changes between your weekday and weekend sleep schedules, a common phenomenon known as “social jetlag.” Keeping a regular sleep schedule across the week is important, said Huang who postpones his bedtime by only 30 minutes on weekend nights and gets up at almost the same time on weekend mornings.
Regular sleep timing may not be possible for people who do rotating shift work — working late hours some nights, but not others. But even if they go to sleep at different times across days, they should at least try to get the same amount of sleep every day, Huang advised.
For best health, don’t vary the amount of time you sleep from day to day by more than 120 minutes, and the time you go to sleep every night by more than 90 minutes, the paper noted. These cutoffs were consistently associated with metabolic syndrome, though they need to be confirmed by more studies, the authors said.