Heart health affects so many areas of life and bodily health. The heart essentially keeps us alive, so it’s important to take a deep dive into understanding what daily activities really affect its health. Sleepopolis recently published an article all about heart health and sleep that covers its importance and effects.
One area many often overlook is the effect sleep has on the heart. Getting quality sleep each night is actually crucial to maintaining proper health overall, especially when it comes to the heart. Those 5 hours of sleep each night, which many of us are guilty of, aren’t helping the heart in any way. Lack of sleep has the potential to wreak havoc, in the long run, on the heart. Different types of heart disease include heart attack, heart failure, stroke, coronary artery disease, etc. It is important to maintain proper sleep hygiene, as it can greatly affect the heart.
How sleep and heart health are connected
Heart health and sleep are connected in more ways than we realize. Those who get less than seven hours of sleep a night are more likely to report health issues, raising the risk of cardiovascular diseases. One issue that affects the heart is obesity, however this can be managed by proper diet and sleep. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the area of the brain that controls the hunger response is affected by lack of sleep – this can greatly affect children who need more sleep due to brain development. Additionally, childhood obesity has increased the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Nerve damage in the heart and irregular nerve damage can occur due to complications from Type 2 Diabetes, leading to sleep apnea.
Other issues that can arise and impact heart health due to lack of sleep are high blood pressure and blood circulation issues. Little sleep can potentially cause high blood pressure, as six or fewer hours of sleep can increase blood pressure levels. Thus, high blood pressure can risk heart disease. Doctors recommend at least two hours of deep sleep to cleanse the region of the brain that is responsible for blood flow regulation. On the other hand, low blood circulation can lead to blood clots and plaque. To encourage better blood flow and relieve pressure, one should consider sleeping on a memory foam mattress that is responsive.
Ways to improve sleep and the heart
There are a variety of expert tips we have found to improve both sleep and heart health. Adjusting sleep schedules can do wonders for overall health. It has been found that a bedtime between 10 and 11pm has been linked to a lower disease risk, whereas those with a midnight or later bedtime showed the highest risk of developing heart disease. Another way to improve cardiovascular health and sleep is by implementing regular exercise. It is recommended by the American Heart Association to get “150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, preferably spread throughout the week.” Other helpful tips to improve sleep and heart health are having a healthy diet and looking into potential treatments.
Overall, heart health and sleep are directly related, so give your heart some love and get some rest.
I’m Carley and I’m a Certified Sleep Science Coach and Staff Writer at Sleepopolis. I write and edit mattress reviews with a main focus in editorial. When I’m not editing, you can find me boating, spending time with my nephews, and geeking out on 2000’s nostalgia.
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