Beyond the other benefits quality sleep delivers, it's now associated with improving heart health as well.
The American Heart Association (AHA) in late June added sleep duration to its cardiovascular health checklist, entitled "Life's Essential 8." The list debuted in 2010 with seven categories to mark health factors and activities that contribute to optimal heart health.
In addition to sleep duration, the list includes diet, physical activity, exposure to nicotine, body mass index, blood lipids, blood glucose, and blood pressure. The average amount of sleep an adult should aim for is between seven to nine hours, according to the AHA.
If you're not getting enough rest, you're not alone. A 2021 study from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that nearly 60 percent of respondents continued to struggle with sleeping problems as a result of the pandemic. And entrepreneurs have long been notorious for burning the midnight oil.
If you're in that tired majority, one of the following three sleep methods may be right for you:
The 4-7-8 Method
The 4-7-8 method requires people to breathe in through their nose (for four seconds), hold their breath (seven seconds), exhale (eight seconds) -- and repeat up to four times. The technique stems from traditions in yoga and is also vetted by science since it helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps the body calm down.
Get outside (in the morning)
Working from home can make it easy for people to stay inside longer than they normally would, especially compared to when they would commute into the office. But it's crucial to get outside in the morning, even just for 15 minutes, to clamp down on the production of melatonin, clinical psychologist Michael Breus told the New York Times.
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the brain that regulates the sleep and wake cycles in the body. Breus says being outside in the sunlight sends a signal to the brain to stop producing melatonin.
Cool it on the mid-day coffee
The amount of time it takes your body to rid itself of caffeine is longer than you may think: The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says that caffeine's half-life is up to five hours, meaning that it can take upwards of 10 hours to fully clear caffeine out of your system. If you find yourself reaching for a mid-day cup of coffee, consider swapping that out for decaf coffee or herbal tea.
For even more sleep advice, here's how to level up your nighttime routine.