February is American Heart Month, which draws attention to the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. Although certain risk factors are unavoidable (family history, age), it is possible to reduce your risk of heart disease by as much as 80 percent with just a few lifestyle changes. Of course eating right and staying active will only benefit you when it comes to preventing heart disease and other health issues, but there are other measures that you can take to even further lower the risk. So take your first steps toward a healthier heart this month with this advice in mind.
Many of us forget that one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy is to get the right amount of sleep. Not sleeping enough can lead to a slower metabolism, making it more difficult to lose weight. A lack of sleep can also lead to other unhealthy habits like late night snacking. So how much sleep should you get? Well, everyone is different. Different people will need different amounts, but most people need around 7 hours of sleep per night. This benefits not only your heart, but your immune system too.
There are lots of things that you can do to improve your sleep habits. First, try to have a night time routine so that you can get into the habit of going to bed at a decent hour. It’s also a good idea to avoid extra caffeine, especially at night. And, of course, make sure you’re getting enough exercise.