It’s probably no surprise in this overscheduled world of ours, that our bodies stick to a pretty rigid rhythm themselves. And understanding our internal clocks gives us the power to do everything we can to stay healthy, and, in some cases, stay alive. Here’s what you need to know to stop the #1 killer of women—heart disease—from stopping you.
Here are three reasons heart attacks are 3 times more likely to strike in the morning than the evening:
- Blood pressure is highest in the morning because it rises quickly to get you ready for the day. In fact, your heart needs 50% more blood to go from being asleep to being awake, and as that blood pulses through your blood vessels, the increased pressure can tear the vessel lining.
- Blood vessels are thicker in the morning. Just as our muscles and joints feel stiffer when we get up, our blood vessels are thicker and more rigid. It’s harder for them to bend and flex, which makes them more likely to build up plaque; combine that with high blood pressure, and it’s a recipe for artery rupture.
- Blood is thicker in the morning. The platelets in our blood, which help it clot, are stickier in the morning and more likely to stick to blood vessel walls, plus the system that combats blood clots is not as active in the am. And when stickier blood hits the scars and tears caused by high blood pressure and stiff arteries, clots form, and the stage for a heart attack is set.