Lack of Sleep and Your Heart Health
You’ve probably heard plenty of advice about keeping your heart healthy, such as eating a balanced diet, getting sufficient exercise, managing stress levels, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol intake, and maintaining a healthy weight. However, not getting enough sleep at night may be just as critical to achieving and maintaining heart health.
How Sleep Affects the Heart
Sleeping is an essential vital activity that the body needs to function properly. It is a necessary part of our 24-hour body clock, or circadian rhythm. By sleeping on an appropriate schedule, our bodies can maintain the right level of brain chemicals and hormones to signal the body how to act and function. When these signals are thrown off, the results can be harmful, even catastrophic.
Busy schedules can make getting adequate rest a challenge. Many people feel tied to a lot of responsibilities, including family, friends, work, and self-care. Our society runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it is hard to fit everything in. Many of us compensate by cutting back our time in bed.
How Sleep Helps the Heart
Sleep helps the heart in many ways, including:
- Lowers Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
Your body’s systems slow down while you sleep. The brain and body do other things like maintenance. During these periods, your pulse slows down, and your blood pressure drops. Your body needs these periods of slowed functioning to be heart healthy.
- Decreases Calcium Build-Up
Calcium deposits in the arteries of the heart increase when people don’t get adequate rest. These calcium deposits are a predictor of coronary artery disease.
- Carries Out Repair Mechanisms
The breathing you experience during the deeper stages of sleep is vital for oxygenating your blood and improving heart health.
- Balances Hormones
All of the hormones, the chemical messengers in your body, are affected by the amount of rest you get. These hormone levels influence your mood, energy level, bodily functions, reproductive health, and your health in general.
- Lowers Risk of Weight Gain
People who get insufficient rest have thicker waistlines, increased weight gain, and a higher likelihood of diabetes. A lack of time to repair and restore tissues is partly responsible for this. Another aspect is due to your hormones. Sleep-deprived people often show increased levels of stress hormones that lead to overeating and poor quality food choices.
- Reduces Stress
The unconscious downtime of sleep is necessary for your mental health. Sleep helps your brain reset and balances hormones, including stress hormones.
Get Professional Help
Although much emphasis is put on eating well, exercising, and abstaining from harmful substances, few realize the significance of nightly rest to maintain health. However, getting a good night’s sleep is challenging for many people. Incorporating heart healthy sleep tips into your daily routine can make a substantial difference in your sleep quality and overall help. If you can’t do it on your own, you might need to partner with an experienced professional who can help you to sleep better.
Better health could be as simple as getting an hour or so of extra sleep each night. For advice and help on more ways to make that happen, schedule a visit with a heart sleep professional today.