Ever wondered how much sleep you need? After all, when it comes to getting sleep, the amount you get never feels like enough. So maybe you’ve been using more work-from-home opportunities in order to catch up on sleep. That’s certainly a good idea. But take note: when it comes to getting sleep, you can get too much. At least, that is, in terms of your vein health.
How Much Sleep You Need for Vein Health
According to a study from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, your arteries need a very specific amount of sleep. And that magic number falls in the range of six to eight hours, every night.
Specifically, the study revealed that getting less or more sleep resulted in “stiffer” arteries, meaning they were less likely to contract. And, unlike your muscles, stiff arteries can’t be loosened up so easily.
More Evidence on Sleep
Adding to concerns about missing sleep? A study in the European Heart Journal revealed that sleeping less than 5 hours each night makes you 74% more likely to develop PAD than those who sleep 7-8 hours each night.
While this study was merely observational, and didn’t pinpoint why short sleep increases PAD risk, the problem is likely explained by inflexible veins and arteries. Because less flexible veins and arteries struggle to keep your blood pumping. And, when that happens, you’re more likely to see plaque build up in your arteries. And, in turn, you’ll see a jump in risk for Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), heart attacks and strokes.
Now, under-sleeping is a bigger problem than over-sleeping—both for your arteries and the rest of your body. When you sleep less than six hours a night, your arterial risk increases by 54%. A study in the European Heart Journal reveals that sleeping less than 5 hours in a night increases your PAD risk by a whopping 74%. On the other hand, sleeping more than eight hours increases your risk by 39%.
In fact, one Chinese study directly linked longer sleep durations with decreased physical activity. (And increased PAD risk!) Now, that;s just one study. And the perceived risk increase is relatively minor. So, while that’s less of a problem, it’s still not great. Clearly, prioritizing optimal those ‘zzzzs’ is crucial to your health.
How to Get More Rest
There are many different methods you can use to get enough hours in each night. In order to stay in the optimal range, create a bed time and waking time for yourself. And stick to those times every single day, even on weekends.
Additionally, make time for daily exercise, but try to sneak those sweat sessions into the earlier part of your day. Late night exercise may interfere with your sleep. It’s also important to avoid large meals towards the end of the day. And start shutting down screens in the last hour before bedtime, as blue light can interfere with your sleep.
On that note, try to keep all devices out of your bedroom. To create a better sleep environment, it’s wise to keep your room as dark as possible. (Black out shades could be very helpful.) You may also want to turn your thermostat down a few degrees before bed, since cooler temperatures can help you enjoy a more restful night of sleep.
Need more help protecting your veins and arteries? Reach out to our Houston vein specialists for an in-office consultation! We can help make sure your arteries are getting everything they need.