The Week in Sleep News: July 1, 2022

This week, the American Heart Association recognized sleep as an important factor in cardiovascular health, and we found a dreamy home for a nap.

Couple reading newspaper in bed beneath headline "Sleep News: Week of July 1, 2022."

Here’s the sleep news for this week:

Sleep now recognized by the AHA as essential to heart health

The American Heart Association (AHA) updated its guidelines for heart health this week to include sleep as a critical component of cardiovascular health. This meant an update from “Life’s Simple 7” to “Life’s Essential 8,” with sleep as the eighth essential. Each key measure is critical for maintaining or improving heart health, and lowering risk for heart disease and other issues. Other components include physical activity, cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar, among others. Each pillar scored, and together, they provide an unweighted composite score to help gauge cardiovascular health.

School-related stress keeps students awake

This recent study of nearly 1300 adolescents looked at the impact of school-related stress on sleep. Published in the journal Sleep Advances, the study looked at sleep duration, insomnia symptoms, and perceived school-related stress (gauged by performance, relationships with teachers and peers, amount of leisure time, and attendance), and found correlation between those who experience sleep problems and those who experience higher levels of school-related stress. This pioneering study should compel further research on the bidirectional relationship of stress and sleep disorders in school-age people.

Block out light for good sleep

Light during sleep may be sabotaging us more than we think. A new study from Northwestern University found that sleeping with even a little bit of light can negatively impact your health. Researchers found that light during sleep can contribute to a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure in older adults. But don’t throw your nightlights away yet. Instead of a blue-light-emitting device, scientists recommend that you choose one that is either red or amber (which are less disruptive to your circadian rhythm), and that you keep it low to the ground and out of direct sightline while in bed.

Sleep pods are coming to coach-class air travel

Good news for jet setters: Sleep pods are on their way to economy class. Air New Zealand announced on Wednesday that they would be moving forward with putting sleep pods into economy class in their newest batch of 787-9 Dreamliners. These aircrafts will now include six sleep pods that can be purchased as a seat add-on by those in what is lovingly called steerage class. This is a part of the airline’s commitment to help passengers in all cabins sleep on ultra-long-haul flights, such as between New Zealand and the United States, we hope, though pricing and routes have not yet been released. The first coach-class sleep pods will debut in 2024.

Nancy Meyers has the house of our dreams

Director Nancy Meyers is known for the relaxing, dreamy quality of the homes she features in her movies. We're thrilled to see that her own home seems to follow suit. Meyers recently opened her home to Architectural Digest, showing off the soothing, minimalist interior design of the Southern California space. From the plush banquette in her pool house to the quaint wicker recliners on her terrace, there are plenty of places we'd love to catch a nap.

In sleep-centric social media

Want to control your dreams? TikTok user @kbacon shares a lucid dreaming hack.

Kate from @kbacon on tiktok smiling at the camera with purple lighting behind her.
Kate Bacon / TikTok