Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Worst Time to Wake Up Is...

...before 5 a.m. And it's best for your heart health to sleep in until 7 a.m. or 8 a.m.--every day.

That mantra of "early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise" is all wrong--at least in terms of health. To the delight of night owls everywhere, researchers from several universities and hospitals in the western Japanese city of Kyoto, have concluded that early-risers have a higher risk of developing heart problems than their friends who sleep in later.

Agence France Presse and Bloomberg News report that the Japanese research team found a definite link between wake-up times and a person's cardiovascular system. "Rising early to go to work or exercise might not be beneficial to health, but rather a risk for vascular diseases," said an abstract of the study, which followed 3,017 healthy adults ages 23 to 90. Specifically, the team found that people who habitually rise before 5 a.m. have a 1.7 times greater risk of high blood pressure and are twice as likely to develop hardening of the arteries as those who get up at 7 a.m. or 8 a.m.

If you get up early to exercise, you might want to rethink this plan. The study also found a possible link between vascular disease and early birds who start their day with a vigorous workout. "The results are contrary to the commonly held belief that early birds are in better health," lead study author Mayuko Kadono, a physician at Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, told Bloomberg News. "We need to find what the causes of this are and whether exercising after waking early is beneficial."

There is one possible gotcha: In this study, those who rose early were typically older. And older people are, in general, at a higher risk for cardiovascular problems than younger people. So was the increased risk because they rose early or because they were older? Additional research is needed to determine the answer to that.

Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attack, stroke and hypertension, is the No. 1 cause of death worldwide. The study was presented to the World Congress of the World Federation of Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine Societies in Cairns, Australia.

--From the Editors at Netscape

Relieve headaches, neck pain, muscle stress, snoring and more with the world famous "Makura Miracle Pillow"(tm) buckwheat hull pillow.

Use coupon code AFD8 for and 8% discount on any order of $25.00 or more.