ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The American Heart Association previously defined seven risk factors for people to stay heart healthy until now. Sleep duration has now been added as an essential component in achieving ideal cardiovascular health.
The original seven recommended lifestyle factors include reducing nicotine exposure, boosting physical activity, and eating healthier. While also urging people to manage their weight, blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Getting enough sleep is a new addition because it impacts many bodily functions. The recommended sleep metric is seven to nine hours of sleep daily for adults and even more for children.
“The new metric of sleep duration reflects the latest research findings: 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,” said American Heart Association President, Dr. Donald M. Lloyd-Jones said in a statement.
The American Heart Association offers The Life’s Essential 8™ components as a guide to health and combatting heart disease.
In addition to adding sleep, the association added vaping reduction to their guide and expanded the blood sugar measurements to include hemoglobin A1c—a key measure to assess Type 2 diabetes risk.
“Given the evolving research, it was important to address some limitations to the original metrics, particularly in ways they’ve been applied to people from diverse racial and ethnic populations,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones said.