Looking to be your best? Hitting the hay and getting enough rest could be the best thing you can do.
Skipping the weekly Friday night burgers and the daily stress-out at work could do wonders for your heart. But here’s something that may be even easier: more sleep.
A study done by professionals at Massachusetts General Hospital has found that not getting enough sleep increases your risk of serious health problems considerably. And cardiovascular disease is on the list.
“We have discovered that sleep helps to regulate the production in the bone marrow of inflammatory cells and the health of blood vessels and that, conversely, sleep disruption breaks down control of inflammatory cell production, leading to more inflammation and more heart disease,” says Filip Swirski, PhD, of the MGH Center for Systems Biology, senior author of the Nature paper. “We also have identified how a hormone in the brain known to control wakefulness controls processes in the bone marrow and protects against cardiovascular disease.”
So, a lot of complicated stuff.
Experiments have also found that a hormone needed for controlling the production of your white blood cells- the stuff that fights off infections-is significantly reduced when you miss sleep. Not only will your entire body suffer in general from a lack of sleep, but your immune system, specifically. Your heart might ride the storm, but you could find yourself calling in sick more often.
Get all the hours of rest you need, on a regular basis, and you’ll be two steps ahead.