Do you sleep with the lights on?  Or do you require total darkness for your evening slumber?

A new research study suggests not getting enough sleep is a major reason we are ruining our hearts:

Healthy middle-aged people who get enough sleep each night are less likely to accumulate calcium deposits in their coronary arteries, a sign of heart disease, than their more sleep-deprived peers.

In fact, an extra hour of sleep each night was associated with a 33% lower chance of coronary artery calcification, a reduction in heart risk that’s on par with having about a 16-point drop in systolic blood pressure, according to a study published in Wednesday’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“There really is mounting evidence that there likely are subtle health consequences of really short nighttime sleep,” says Diane S. Lauderdale, PhD, of the University of Chicago, one of the authors of the study.

What I find missing in that sleep research study is the effect of dreaming on our hearts.

Do our dreams heal us; or must our bodies heal first before the dreaming begins?


  1. Sleep study seems to change a lot. Is it eight or is it six to seven? Or is too much not good? 🙂

  2. Hi David,
    Pitch dark, dreamless, solid 6 hrs. without any sound – that’s me!
    Interestingly, when I remember my dream I feel tired when I am up – as if I just didn’t sleep at all.

  3. Incidentally, I love to sleep with an eye mask and a nice gentle hum – like an air conditioner or fan – is helpful as well.

  4. Do you move around a lot when you sleep, Gordon? Does the mask stay on? I also like some background noise. It helps you focus on sleeping while blocking out the Big City sounds.

  5. According to people who have seen me, I do move a bit at first and then not much. The mask stays on at all times! 🙂

  6. That’s good. I tend to sleep on all sides ten times a night. Does the mask press against your eyes in any way? That pressure seems like it might be uncomfortable.

  7. Hi David,
    I don’t know but it’s very draining, as if I watched a movie all night…I don’t like the exhausted feeling in the morning.
    “White noise” helps a lot, I forgot to mention.

  8. Darkness and silence except for the stream in the garden – or maybe the sound of the waves on the beach when the wind is in the right direction.
    I find it difficult to sleep in cities – all that noise and light and electrical disturbance – YUK

  9. “Yuk” is right, Nicola! Living in the big city has been a problem for me when it comes to sleeping. I like silence and darkness. You can’t really have either of them in an urban core. One of my grad school friends said she sleeps with the windows open every night in NYC because she can’t sleep unless she hears the shouting and the fire engines. Their noise makes her feel less alone and safer.

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