Feb 28, 2023

The Impact of Poor Sleep on Cardiovascular Health

It's challenging to exaggerate how crucial the heart is to good health. The heart drives the circulatory system, ensuring that all the body's organs and tissues receive the oxygen they require. This is done by circulating blood throughout the body.

Unfortunately, heart disease ranks among the world's major causes of illness and demise. There is growing awareness of the risks of inadequate sleep for heart health, even though it is already well established that variables, including a poor diet, little exercise, and smoking, can affect the heart.

Almost all facets of physical health depend heavily on sleep because it gives the body time to repair and rejuvenate. Insufficient or interrupted sleep can affect blood pressure and increase the risk of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, and other cardiovascular diseases.

High blood pressure and heart disease are related to insomnia. Poor sleep over time can also result in harmful behaviors that are bad for your heart, such as increased stress levels, a lack of drive to exercise, and unhealthy eating preferences.

It has been suggested that getting enough sleep can help in the maintenance of cardiovascular health and that it may be an essential component of adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle for individuals who already have heart problems.

How does sleep impact heart health?

Because it has an impact on cardiovascular health and other factors, sleep has long been a factor.

By influencing our choices about our diet and activity, lack of sleep indirectly impacts the heart. Lack of sleep can increase food cravings and make it more likely that people will choose less heart-healthy comfort foods that are high in sugar and saturated fat.

Additionally, poor sleep is worsened by bad eating habits. She goes on to add that since there is reciprocity in all interactions, physical activity is no different.

Lack of sleep also makes a person more susceptible to high blood pressure, which increases their chance of developing heart disease.

Additionally, lack of sleep exacerbates inflammation. You need inflammatory cells to protect yourself against illness. Even so, if they persist for a long time, even in the absence of a threat, they can cause chronic inflammation and, in the long run, heart disease.

Cardiovascular disease may advance significantly as a result of inflammation in the vein's endothelial cells, which can be brought on by even slight sleep problems. Although the causes of this are still unknown, excessive sleep may potentially be harmful.

Sleep Issues Are Caused by Heart Failure

Heart failure complications may impact your sleep. For instance:

●      It's challenging to unwind, drift off to sleep, or wake up feeling comfortable.

●      If you're lying in bed, you might feel out of breath.

●      You should get up in the middle of the night to urinate.

You stand and sit a lot throughout the day, so extra fluid often collects in your legs and feet. However, if you lie down, it will climb into your chest. Your lungs and airways may close. As a result, you are making it more difficult to breathe.

Disorders of Sleep and Heart Health

Numerous sleep disorders have an adverse effect on heart health. Insomnia, one of the most common sleep disorders, is typically accompanied with insufficient sleep, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a respiratory disorder, has been connected to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, stroke, and high blood pressure. People with OSA experience breathing pauses when their airway becomes blocked while they're asleep.

Heart issues are also linked to abnormal movement disorders while sleeping, including restless leg syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder.

Although the exact reason is unknown, it may be connected to the abnormal activation of the cardiovascular system brought on by these disorders, which results in elevated and variable blood pressure and heart rate.

Cardiovascular issues have been linked to circadian rhythm sleep disorders, which happen when a person's internal clock is out of sync with day and night.

People who work night shifts and are required to sleep during the day have an increased chance of developing cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. They also have an increased risk of having a stroke or a heart attack.

Heart hypertension

In persons with high blood pressure, hypertensive heart disease is a chronic disorder that progresses slowly over many years. A series of medical issues can develop if your high blood pressure (hypertension) is not controlled, including heart failure and conduction arrhythmias.

Hypertensive heart disease is brought on by persistently high blood pressure (greater than 120/80 mmHg). As they age, people with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease. People over 65 are most susceptible to heart failure.

Due to chronic high blood pressure, your heart has to work harder to pump your blood. Heart failure could result from your heart muscle becoming thick and feeble.

How can you improve your sleeping habits?

●      Keep a consistent sleeping routine. Put yourself to bed and wake up simultaneously every day, including on the weekends.

●      Ensure that you get adequate natural light, especially early in the day. Take a walk in the morning or around lunch.

●      Don't sit still throughout the day; move about. In the hours leading up to bedtime, try to avoid exercising.

●      Do not expose yourself to artificial light, especially in the hours before bed. On your smartphone or computer, apply a blue light filter.

●      Avoid alcohol and foods heavy in fat or sugar before bed. Don't eat or drink anything right before bed.

●      Maintain a relaxed, silent atmosphere in your bedroom.

Work with your medical team to find sleep-related challenges, such as other medical disorders.

The takeaway

Heart failure and sleep are related reciprocally. Heart failure increases your risk of developing other health problems, such as insomnia. Similarly, sleep issues, including obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and insomnia, can exacerbate the symptoms of heart failure.

Whether or not your heart is in good shape, getting a decent night's sleep is essential. Along with improving your energy levels, cognitive abilities, and general health, sleep is good for your heart. If you can resolve your sleep issues, you can lessen the strain on your heart.

Get a heart rate tracker if you're curious about your own health. The Wellnest 12-channel ECG can be used to detect and manage a variety of cardiac disorders, such as arrhythmias, heart attacks, and heart disease, thanks to its detailed information on heart rate, rhythm, and function. It's a handy and efficient instrument for checking on one's heart health, thanks to its small size and straightforward layout.