Sleep deprivation can cause stress, weight gain, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Research shows that going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is a healthier option.
A new study by researchers at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, in the US, has found that a regular bedtime benefits not only children, but adults, too.
The researchers studied the sleep patterns of almost 2,000 adults who wore sleep tracking devices for seven days and also kept sleep journals.
The results showed that a regular bedtime keeps the heart and metabolism healthy. People who went to bed at irregular times were more likely to be overweight, have high blood sugar and high blood pressure. These people were also more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than people with regular sleep patterns.
The researchers believe that sleep, heart health and metabolism influence each other, but they are not sure whether sleep loss causes weight gain, for example, or whether it's the other way around.
"With more research, we hope to understand what's going on biologically, and perhaps then we could say what's coming first or which is the chicken and which is the egg," says Jessica Lunsford-Avery, lead author of the study.