Sleep can be a tough thing to figure out for many people. There are only so many hours in a day, and with busy schedules, families, having a social life, trying to fit in exercise and hobbies, sleep is sometimes the thing that gets put on the back burner. A study published by the American Heart Association links sleep, notably the proper number of hours we should get, to heart disease and overall cardiovascular health.
What Does Sleep Have To Do With My Heart?
The Centers for Disease Control found that sleep issues can cause obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia, which can increase your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and general cardiovascular disease. The CDC also reports that only around one-third of American adults actually get enough sleep on a regular basis, making this a fairly widespread problem.
The effects of both a poor night's sleep and a good night's sleep are usually obvious in our day to day lives. When you wake up after a night of deep, restorative sleep, you can tell the difference versus if you had a poor, restless night. When you are well rested, you tend to have better focus, can function properly, and are able to perform necessary tasks safely. On the contrary, a night of poor sleep might leave you feeling foggy, having difficulty staying awake while driving, or unable to perform your job correctly at work or home.
Although there is no magic number for the hours of sleep everyone requires, as every person has differing needs, experts do recommend between seven and nine hours per night. Getting less than or even more than that on a nightly basis is where your risk of heart disease rises.
What Should I Do To Change My Sleep Patterns?
The first thing you should do to change your sleep patterns is to understand your current ones. It could be helpful to keep a sleeping journal, logging the number of hours you sleep every night, your bedtime and wake up time, if you were up during the night, if you experienced restless sleep, how you felt when you woke up, and if it took you awhile to fall asleep. In addition to recording your actual sleep quality, it’s important to note external factors as well, like if you had alcohol or caffeine prior to bed, if you’re on any medications, or if there is a stressful or emotional event you’re experiencing. Once you can see a pattern, it’s easy to see where you need help. For instance, if your wake up time is fixed, consider going to sleep earlier in the evening to make up additional hours. Many people find that working regular exercise into their daily routine is helpful as well.
If you have a solid sleep pattern established, keep it up. You should make sure you’re sleeping in a comfortable environment every night. Take TV or other electronics out of your bedroom and maintain it just for sleeping. Consider your bed and make it a comfortable and inviting place to be.
Everything Links Back To Heart Health
At TrustCare Heart Clinic, we believe that full body health is important. Since lack of sleep can be linked to so many concerning medical issues, we recommend that all of our patients be aware of their sleep patterns and strive to improve them. We also offer heart screenings beginning at $25. Book an appointment at TrustCare Heart today!