You snooze, you lose? Not in this case!
Good sleep is the easiest way to WIN when it comes to your health – and ladies, a full night of blissful, restful shut-eye can do more than help you feel refreshed in the morning.
It could PROTECT you by CUTTING your risk of high blood pressure.
And if your BP is already a little on the high side, that full night of refreshing sleep may even pull off another great trick.
It can help bring those levels right back down.
The key isn’t just in getting the right AMOUNT of sleep. It’s in making sure you have the right KIND of sleep, too.
If you’re tossing and turning, your blood pressure can shoot to the moon – and your arteries might suffer extensive damage.
But if you enjoy deep and rejuvenating slumber every night, you can see major cardiovascular benefits.
In the new study, women were not only tested for the amount of sleep they got each night, but also how many disturbances they had.
The more of those disturbances – including poor quality, wake-ups, and apnea – the higher their risk of hypertension, and that was true even when they got between seven and nine hours each night.
And even seemingly MINOR disturbances… the kind you might not even notice during the night… increased that risk.
And it didn’t stop there, either.
Some of the women also had other tests that went much deeper than sleep patterns and blood pressure levels.
They let researchers take a peek into their endothelial cells.
These don’t get much attention, but they should – after all, they line your blood vessels and help them relax and contract to optimize the flow of blood. When endothelial function drops, your risk of hardened arteries, heart attack, and stroke jumps.
And if you’re not getting good sleep, you could already have damage in that all-important endothelial layer.
In the new study, women with the highest levels of sleep disturbances had higher levels of damaging inflammation in those critical endothelial cells.
As with blood pressure, this was true even when the women got the right AMOUNT of sleep, just the wrong KIND.
Clearly, there’s a much bigger picture to sleep, and it’s one you need to look at closely.
Late-night sleep disturbances caused by apnea can often be fixed with a little weight loss. Other sleep disturbances can be fixed by tackling the cause, which can include drug side effects, evening caffeine, hormonal imbalances, stress, and more.
Find that cause – find it and get it fixed. You’ll get better rest and maybe even a longer life to go along with it.