Cardiology (from Greek καρδίᾱ kardiā, “heart” and -λογία -logia, “study”) is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the heart as well as parts of the circulatory system. The field includes medical diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, heart failure, valvular heart disease and electrophysiology. Physicians who specialize in this field of medicine are called cardiologists, a specialty of internal medicine. Pediatric cardiologists are pediatricians who specialize in cardiology. Physicians who specialize in cardiac surgery are called cardiothoracic surgeons or cardiac surgeons, a specialty of general surgery.
Although the cardiovascular system is inextricably linked to blood, cardiology is relatively unconcerned with hematology and its diseases. Some obvious exceptions that affect the function of the heart would be blood tests (electrolyte disturbances, troponins), decreased oxygen carrying capacity (anemia, hypovolemic shock), and coagulopathies.
New research — which is now published in the journal Scientific Reports — examines and highlights the importance of regular bedtimes for optimal heart and metabolic health.
clock on bedside table
Going to bed at the same time each night may keep both your heart and metabolism healthy.
The cardiometabolic health risks linked to sleep deprivation are numerous.
These health risks include weight gain, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, however, is also vital for health.
A study from last year reported that “social jet lag” — that is, the difference in sleep and waking times between the weekend and the weekdays — can also raise the risk of heart disease.
Previous studies have also suggested that obesity and diabetes may be on the cards for those who hit the snooze button on weekends.
Now, new research from the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, adds to the mounting evidence suggesting that regular bedtimes are key to a person’s heart health and the good functioning of their metabolism.
Jessica Lunsford-Avery, Ph.D. — an assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences from the Duke University Medical Center — led the new study.
Bedtimes and cardiometabolic health
Lunsford-Avery and team examined the sleeping patterns of almost 2,000 adults aged 54–93, who had no history of sleep disorders.
The volunteers all wore sleep tracking devices that picked up on the slightest variations in bedtime patterns. The adults wore the devices for 7 days and kept a sleep diary.