Why You Need to Prioritize Sleep

Prioritize Sleep

If you’ve had a hard night sleeping, or a few weeks of disrupted sleep, you can catch up on that sleep the next chance you get, right?  A new study challenges our assumptions of how much sleeping in on the weekends to make up for a sleepless week can really help us. Explore the significance of Prioritize Sleep for health and wellness. Enhance focus, mood, productivity, and overall well-being through prioritizing quality sleep.

Sleep Study: Cardiovascular Impact

                Researchers at Penn State University stacked how well sleep accumulates versus the effects that missing sleep can have on the cardiovascular system.  They followed 15 healthy participants in an eleven-day sleep study while taking cardiovascular metrics like heart rate and blood pressure in two-hour intervals.  Their sleep was unrestricted for the first three nights and some participants slept up to 10 hours.  Following, they slept only five hours nightly for five days, followed by two nights of up to 10 hours to simulate a weekend.

                The initial heart rate averaged 69 beats per minute but rose to 78 BPM on the second day. Heart rate increased by nearly one beat per minute for the duration of the study. Blood pressure started at an average of 116 mmHg and rose to 119.5 mmHg by the study’s end.

                Even after two full nights’ rest and the chance to sleep 10 hours, their heart rates and blood pressure remained elevated. It’s a stark reminder that the body needs rest. Interrupted or sleepless nights can take quite a toll on the cardiovascular system.  The researchers hypothesize that these episodes affecting the heart and blood pressure may accumulate, leading to cardiovascular complications.

Prioritize quality sleep by unwinding, avoiding screens, eating well, and disregarding the notion of catching up on sleep.

Further Reading

David A. Reichenberger, Kelly M. Ness, Stephen M. Strayer, Gina Marie Mathew, Margeaux M. Schade, Orfeu M. Buxton, Anne-Marie Chang. Recovery sleep following sleep restriction is insufficient to return elevated daytime heart rate and systolic blood pressure to baseline levelsPsychosomatic Medicine, 2023; Publish Ahead of Print DOI: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000001229

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