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Science Has Proven, Yet Again, Why You Really Need More Sleep

It’s more important than ever to keep your bedtime routine on track and on time: A new study confirms that sleeping fewer than six hours per night can lead to dangerous plaque buildup in arteries — a condition called atherosclerosis. Similar effects were also noticed among subjects who had interrupted sleep (sorry, new moms!). Why the concern? Plaque buildup can significantly increase the risk of stroke and heart disease.

Tell Me More

The large study, which appeared in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, was based on nearly 4,000 Spanish men and women with no history of heart disease. Each subject slept while wearing a monitor for seven nights to objectively quantify sleep phases, sleep movement, and duration. Subjects were divided into four groups: those sleeping fewer than six hours, those sleeping six to seven hours, those sleeping seven to eight hours, and those sleeping more than eight hours. Researchers looked not only at sleep duration but also quality of sleep; whether subjects’ sleep was fragmented. Cardiac CT scans were performed at the start and end of the study, and scientists employed 3D ultrasounds to analyze various arteries throughout the body, not just in the heart.

What the Results Mean

Researchers ultimately found that subjects who slept fewer than six hours had a 27 percent increased risk of developing atherosclerosis throughout the body than those subjects who slept seven to eight hours. Those with interrupted or fractured sleep had a 34 percent increased risk of developing plaque. And the biggest takeaway from these findings is that atherosclerosis was found throughout the entire body — not just in the arteries surrounding the heart, which means that the risk for heart disease is even more significant.

We probably don’t need to tell you that sleep is key for whole-body restoration. Previous studies have discovered that just a couple of days with reduced sleep can contribute to imbalanced blood sugar, high blood pressure, decreased immunity, and anxiety and depression, just to name a few. (Before you start to worry about staying up late to watch SNL this weekend, know that most of these risks greatly decrease once you start regularly hitting the seven- to eight-hour mark.)

To get your nightly eight, set a strict bedtime based on your waking time, and keep it consistent — yes, even through the weekend. Boost your exercise, too, as even 10 minutes daily has beneficial repercussions on your sleep quality.

Share your best sleep tips with us @BritandCo.

(Photo via Getty)

Alright, folks. We've officially made it to fall. And if you haven't already started switching out your decor (as long as it's ready by Friendsgiving, right?) you still have time to do so. Draw inspiration from this round-up of new home products that includes harvest-inspired candles, cozy linens and textiles, and a v. practical piece of furniture. One scroll through these, and you'll have all the motivation you need to transition the seasons. Scroll on to start shopping.

Prism x LOREM Collection ($96+): Calling all Cali babes. The popular Long Beach boutique, Prism, announced a boho-fabulous collab with home decor line, LOREM, that we can't get enough of. Shop everything from plant hangers (eight options, to be exact) to artwork, all inspired by the very colorful vibes of the brands. If you were looking for a cheery way to tide you through winter, this. is. it!

Floyd Mattress (Price TBD): Fans of the cult-favorite Detroit-based brand will love their latest launch debuting on October 29. The highly-coveted Floyd Mattress will have the same made-to-last design and superior comfort as their other furnishings, tailored perfectly to fit the line's in-demand bed frame. Additional details for the mattress include a breathable foam material, highly-mobile packaging, and a low-profile design to secure your best night's sleep yet. Check back on the last week of the month to get one for yourself.

Dims 'Composed Vanity' ($595): Small space? No problem! Direct-to-consumer brand, Dims, is giving you a quick and stylish solution to your storage needs with their newest item that doubles as both a desk and vanity. The functional piece is made with non-toxic, chemical-free materials and can be assembled in seven minutes or less. Throw in four sleek shades to choose from, and this may just be your best purchase of 2019 yet!

Saatchi Art x The Citizenry Holiday Collection ($225+): Get ready to deck your walls this holiday season. Saatchi Art partnered with The Citizenry in a one-of-a-kind collection that features a curation of art across styles. Explore everything from modern to abstract creations in a selection so stunning, it's bound to spark a conversation at your next gathering.

NEST Spiced Orange & Clove Collection ($16+): If you haven't experienced the addicting aromas of the beloved NEST fragrance brand, this is the perfect time to get on board! The label recently released their latest scent — spiced orange & clove — just in time for all your gatherings. Inhale festive notes of orange pomander, spiced brandy, cinnamon, and gingered honey across their suite of candles and diffusers to bring all the good vibes to your home.

Bloomingdales x RiLEY Home ($19+): RiLEY Home gets millennials. So they teamed up with Bloomingdales to make shopping their selection more attainable than ever. Now, you can get in on long-lasting, luxurious staples like flannel sheets, bedding, printed throws, premium pet beds, and more, by shopping online and in-stores at the department store. (Trust us: These dream goods are ones you're going to be *glad* you stocked-up on.)

Italic Serene Towels ($12+): The luxury brand that prides itself on using the *same* factories namesake brands (like Calvin Klein and Lacoste) use, but without the price tag behind them, brings you a new product for fall. Treat yourself to Italic's ultra-soft towel set spun from fluffy, 100% Australian cotton, in a convenient set of six. Consider it the perfect indulgence after a long soak in the tub on a cozy FNI (Friday night in)!

Hyascent x Neiman Marcus ($169): 'Tis the season for a delightfully scented home. Warm your abode with scents like bourbon joy, cheeky rose and more in a unique diffuser that doubles more as decor than a fragrance-inducer. Fresh off the (online) shelves of Neiman Marcus, explore nine scents that last up to six months in a specialized hourglass holder. (Shhh! Your friends will never know the secret of why your place smells so darn good!)