We all know we’re meant to get a decent amount of sleep every night. A happier heart, better moods and an improved attention span are just a few of the benefits of hitting the hay at a decent time.

But is there an optimal time for tucking yourself in?

A study published in the European Heart Journal found that those who go to bed between 10pm and 11pm are at a lower risk of developing heart disease compared to those who go to sleep earlier or later.

Compared to those who went to bed at the optimal time, night owls who bed down past midnight were found to have a 25 per cent higher risk of developing heart disease.

Those who went to bed between 11pm and midnight were found to be at a 12 per cent greater risk, while those who were snoozing before 10pm were at a 24 per cent higher risk.

The UK Biobank study used wrist devices to track the sleeping patterns of 88,026 participants recruited between 2006 and 2010. Those who took part completed demographic, lifestyle, health and physical assessments and questionnaires.

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Following up with the participants for an average time of almost six years, researchers found that 3,172 of them had developed heart disease.

The study defines heart disease as heart attacks, heart failure, chronic ischaemic heart disease, stroke, and transient ischaemic attack.

Dr. David Plans of the University of Exeter said going to bed after midnight was the “riskiest” time as snoozing through the morning light could reset your body clock.

He said: “The body has a 24-hour internal clock, called circadian rhythm, that helps regulate physical and mental functioning.

“While we cannot conclude causation from our study, the results suggest that early or late bedtimes may be more likely to disrupt the body clock, with adverse consequences for cardiovascular health.”

Researchers also found that a decent bedtime is especially important for women. Plans said this could potentially be due to how the hormonal system responds to a disruption in circadian rhythm.

Plans added that if their findings are further confirmed by other studies, basic sleep hygiene could be a low-cost public health target for tackling heart disease.

In other news, it looks like the number of sheep being counted between 10pm and 11pm is set to rizzzzzz...

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