By Dr. Mallika Marshall

CBS BOSTON (CBS) — Bedtimes aren’t just for kids. A new study from Duke University Medical Center says adults should also follow regular sleep schedules for optimal health.

Researchers looked at almost 2,000 middle-aged and older adults and found that compared to people who go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, those with irregular sleep patterns weighed more, had higher blood pressure, higher blood sugar and a higher likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke within 10 years.

It is unclear which comes first, the irregular sleep patterns or the health problems.

Do people who are heavier have more trouble sleeping or does disrupted sleep lead to weight gain? Further studies need to be done to tease that out, but in the meantime, it seems to make sense for adults, like children, to try to stick to a consistent bedtime.

 

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