The American Heart Association’s Updated Heart Health Checklist Now Includes Sleep

Want to do everything in your power to keep your heart healthy? You’re going to need to make sure to get a good night’s sleep.

The American Heart Association (AHA) has added sleep to its cardiovascular health checklist, which consists of eight factors a person can modify to stay healthy: diet, exercise, tobacco use, weight, cholesterol, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and now, sleep. AHA published its new checklist, called “Life’s Essential 8,” in the journal Circulation on June 29. The old checklist, created in 2010, was known as “Life’s Simple 7.”

“Not only is sleep health related to the other things that play a role in heart health, it seems to also be directly related to cardiovascular health itself,” says Michael Grandner, PhD, the director of the sleep and health research program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson, who helped draft the new AHA checklist.

“Sleep is changeable, and studies show that you can improve aspects of heart health just by improving sleep,” Dr. Grandner says.

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