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Sleep your way to a healthy heart

Without a restful night of sleep the next day can be both physically and mentally draining, but did you know it can actually put you at risk for a heart attack?

According to a recent study published in Circulation, a Journal published by the American Heart Association, individuals with insomnia increase their risk of a having a heart attack by 27 to 45 percent! Even being able to fall asleep, but not stay asleep can increase your risk by 30 percent. Poor sleep has also been linked to heart disease, an increased risk of developing diabetes and obesity.

Simply making adjustments to your nightly routine can help you minimize these risk factors and enjoy a restful night of sleep and a healthy heart. The first step is to create a routine. Try to set your schedule so that you are waking up and going to bed at the same time each day, even on the weekends. This will help train your body to be more prepared for rest and more likely to stay asleep throughout the night. 

Another quick and easy way to prepare yourself for a good night sleep is to turn down the lights about two hours before bed.  Our bodies are very receptive to light and associate it with daytime.  It fact, studies have shown that light, artificial or natural, will keep you awake.  Turning down the lights signals to your brain that it is time to go to bed.

Going to bed hungry or too full will also prevent you from having a peaceful slumber. Being mindful of what we put into our bodies at the end of the night will help set you up for success and a night of little or no tossing and turning. Stay away from stimulates like coffee and energy drinks and keep a light snack like peanuts or a piece of fruit handy to help you curb your late night hunger pains!

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