Learn how sleep and heart health are connected.
Good sleep isn’t just important for your day-to-day well being. Adequate sleep is critical for your overall body function—especially the function of your heart. Certain health conditions are linked to poor sleep.
What health conditions are linked to poor sleep?
High blood pressure
During restful sleep, blood pressure drops. When an individual doesn’t spend enough of the night in restful sleep, blood pressure never has a chance to drop, and subsequently stays higher longer. If sleep problems persist, blood pressure remains permanently higher. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease and other cardiovascular issues.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes and sleep deprivation are undeniably connected. Sleep deprivation throws the hormones off. More cortisol is released when the body doesn’t get enough sleep, which slows insulin production and makes it harder for insulin to do its job. Basically, it increases your chances of developing diabetes.
Getting too little sleep can increase your appetite and increase your cravings for junk food. Overeating can upset your insulin and blood sugar levels and cause you to gain weight. Obesity is a major factor in type 2 diabetes.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which the airway is blocked repeatedly during the night, which causes breathing to stop for a few seconds at a time. When the body stops breathing, oxygen levels fall and the brain sends a distress signal, which tells the blood vessels to dilate. That response causes blood pressure levels to rise. This condition affects the amount of oxygen that your body intakes while you sleep.
Insomnia is trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. This sleep condition is linked to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions. Sleep is the time for the body to rest and repair itself. Without Insomnia triggers the body’s stress response, which can weaken the heart over time.
To help reduce your risk of developing these diseases, get more restful sleep regularly.
How can I get better sleep?
Getting better sleep requires discipline and consistency. Ensure that you’re getting the best sleep that you can by following these five simple tips.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekend or your days off.
- Turn off the TV, computer, and other electronic devices before bed. The blue light can signal to
- Sleep in a dark cool room. Light and temperature are the biggest environmental factors for poor sleep.
- your body’s sleep wake cycle that it’s daytime.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine in the afternoon or evening.
- Exercise daily, preferably in the morning or afternoon.