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Heart Health

Doing These 4 Simple Things Before Bed Can Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease


You know how important it is to keep your heart strong, but who wants to worry about braving the cold for a long walk or sticking to a strict diet? Luckily, there’s an easier way to boost your heart health — no bundling up or deprivation required. Making a few small tweaks to your bedtime routine can help lower your heart disease risk, safeguarding your ticker while you snooze. Try them tonight!

Draw a pre-bed bath.

A soothing soak at the end of the day is a relaxing way to protect your heart. Raising your core temperature mimics the heart-healthy benefits of exercise, increasing your circulation and heart rate. And according to research in the journal Heart, folks who made it a daily habit had a 28 percent lower risk of heart disease. For even better results, turn up the heat. Those who took hot baths instead of warm ones were 35 percent less likely to develop cardiovascular disease.

Try taking a ‘heart pill.’

Taking anti-inflammatory glucosamine lowers levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation linked to heart disease, by 23 percent. WVU scientists say folks who took it for a year reduced their heart disease risk by 65 percent — results on par with regular exercise.

Snack on pecans.

Craving a bedtime snack? Make it pecans and you’ll lower your risk of heart trouble. A University of Georgia study found eating 2.5 ounces of pecans (two small handfuls) daily lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol enough to reduce heart disease risk by 30 percent. Healthy fats and fiber prevent cholesterol increases that can hamper heart health.

Cue up Netflix.

And squeeze in one more episode. A study in the European Heart Journal found that folks who fell asleep between 10 pm and 11 pm had a 24 percent lower risk of heart disease than those who turned in earlier. This sweet spot prevents body-clock disruptions that hamper heart health.

Roll your eyes.

Close your eyes and move them left to right for one minute. This mimics the way your eyes move in deep sleep, says Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, upping the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. And a Chinese study found that folks with adequate blood levels of melatonin were less likely to have heart disease.

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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