Decades ago, it became clear that people in the Mediterranean countries such as Greece and Italy lived longer, healthier lives with fewer instances of cardiovascular disease when compared to similar demographics in North American or Northern European countries. It became readily apparent that the typical Mediterranean diet provided significant heart health benefits and has since been held up as a standard by which we should model our own diets.
If we were to tell you that one of the most helpful tools to maintain your heart health was free, readily available, and quite literally made every part of your life more productive and enjoyable, we’re pretty sure that you’d jump right on it. Well, the truth is that it does exist; and it’s called sleep. Sleep is critical for continued bodily function and health. While all of us do it, many of us do not get enough of it. The average adult should get between seven and eight hours of sleep. There are some people whose normal sleep patterns require only six hours while others may require more. Each of us is unique. However, when we are deprived of sleep, we increase the risk of several serious diseases that can ultimately affect the heart.