Poor Sleep Hurts Your Heart

By Editorial Staff

Women who suffer from poor-quality sleep are putting their heart health at risk, and now we now at least one reason why: unhealthy food choices. Specifically, researchers have discovered that women who take longer to fall asleep tend to consume more calories, more sugar, and more overall food by weight compared to women who sleep well. Women who experience insomnia – the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep – also tend to consume more food by weight and fewer unsaturated ("healthy") fats.

The relationship may work in reverse as well: eating late at night, particularly when the food consumed may be high in sugar, fat, etc., won't help with sleep. Try eating a burger, fries and shake at 2 a.m. and then see how quickly / comfortably you're able to doze off.

The research findings, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, make sense: Women tend to experience poorer sleep compared to men for various reasons, and when women – and people in general – are awake instead of asleep, they tend to get up .... and eventually make their way to the fridge, pantry, etc. It's a recipe for overeating, usually poor-quality eating, which is never good for the heart.

Consistent, restful, restorative sleep is critical, and not just for heart health; click here to learn more about the consequences of poor sleep and talk to your doctor.

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