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Sleep added to checklist of ‘essentials’ for good heart health

Life’s Essential 8
Photo: American Heart Association

Sleep duration has been added to the Life’s Essential 8 list of health and lifestyle factors that you can modify to help your heart.

The list, created by the American Heart Association, is an update to “Life’s Simple 7” behaviors and measurements: physical activity, diet, weight, blood glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure and nicotine exposure.

The organization recommends adults get a daily average of seven to nine hours of sleep, and more for children and teens depending on age:

  • For children 5 or younger: 10 to 16 hours
  • For 6- to 12-year-olds: nine to 12 hours
  • For teens: eight to 10 hours

“Sleep impacts overall health, and people who have healthier sleep patterns manage health factors such as weight, blood pressure or risk for Type 2 diabetes more effectively,” AHA President Donald M. Lloyd-Jones said in a press release. “In addition, advances in ways to measure sleep, such as with wearable devices, now offer people the ability to reliably and routinely monitor their sleep habits at home.”

Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States and around the world, the AHA says, adding that “various research studies over the past two decades indicate more than 80% of all cardiovascular events may be prevented by healthy lifestyle and management of known cardiovascular risk factors.”

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