The American Heart Association (AHA) has recently added a significant new statistic to quantify heart health, and it has the potential to alter how we see cardiovascular health. The association’s Life’s Simple 7 heart health checklist has been updated to include proper sleep, making it Life’s Simple 8.
Now included in Life’s Essential 8 are:
- Physical activity
- Nicotine exposure
- Body mass index
- Blood lipids
- Blood glucose
- Blood pressure
The AHA modified four of the previous metrics (diet, nicotine exposure, blood lipids, and blood glucose) in order to better represent current findings, in addition to adding sleep to the total eight metrics. There has been a large quantity of new knowledge published on the subject of cardiovascular health since the last precedent was created in 2010.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that around 659,000 Americans lose their lives to heart disease each year, accounting for one in every four fatalities. Knowing the condition of your heart health now will give you the opportunity to take the required steps to improve it if necessary. The AHA’s My Life Check tool will help you determine your heart health by comparing your performance against Life’s Essential 8. Users receive up to 100 points from the tool depending on their health and lifestyle choices.
According to American Heart Association President Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, M.D., it was time to evaluate the concept’s advantages and disadvantages in order to improve the My Life Check tool. He continues by saying that sleep research has advanced significantly and is now measured more frequently in studies, as well as through the use of heart monitors on smartwatches and other wearable technology.
“We simply have better tools to comprehend the length of our sleep and, to some extent, the nature of that sleep. Every one of the other seven indicators is correlated with sleep. It is connected to our blood pressure, our risk for diabetes, our nutrition, our weight, and our physical activity. However, it also directly affects our health, therefore we decided it was time to introduce an eighth metric.
- The American Heart Association (AHA) just added a new item to its checklist for measuring cardiovascular health.
- AHA President, Donald Lloyd-Jones, M.D. explains why the update is happening now.
- Plus, what you need to know about how sleep can affect your heart health.
How does sleep affect the health of the heart?
Sleep influences heart health and vice versa since the relationship between the two is reciprocal.
According to Dr. Lloyd-Jones, “Our sleep and our quality of sleep is tied to our levels of stress, it’s related to how much exercise we do, but significantly, it also drives very much of what our blood pressure is doing overnight and the following day.”
According to him, sleep can actually determine the kind of meals that we find satisfying. He goes on to say that sleep unquestionably has significant and profound effects on whether we are burning calories or storing them. According to him, over time, these factors influence both our chance for developing diabetes and our general physical and psychological well-being.
Check out the My Life Check tool to see how you did and discover new methods to immediately improve your heart health.