Just as exercise, diet and removing stressors from our daily lives benefit our heart health, so does a good night of sleep. The average adult should be getting about 7-9 hours of sleep every night, but many of us fall short of this.
Practicing good hygiene can be an invaluable tool to determine if you are getting an adequate amount of sleep. In addition, When you keep to a regular sleep schedule your body should allow you to fall asleep within an approximate 15-minute time period and awaken without the use of an alarm clock, feeling refreshed and ready for the day. This is a good guide for determining whether or not you are getting enough sleep.
How does poor quality of sleep affect our heart, you ask? Good question, and I am here to answer that for you. First and foremost, when our bodies are not getting enough sleep, no matter what age, race, sex or lifestyle we maintain, we are putting ourselves at an increased risk of heart disease and heart attacks. The risks become even more elevated for those of us that already suffer from conditions such as high blood pressure, a history of heart failure or stroke, or coronary artery disease. More often than not, when we see people suffering from these previously noted conditions, they also have other underlying conditions such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea prevents our bodies from getting the much-needed oxygen our bodies need. This is a condition that causes the airway to either collapse or become temporarily blocked, in turn causing our oxygen levels to drop, denying crucial body systems the adequate SPO2 levels required to function properly. This includes our heart and our cardiovascular system. When we don’t get sufficient oxygen to our heart, it causes the heart to work harder than normal. Studies show that people that suffer from untreated obstructive sleep apnea and even insomnia have an increased risk of complications such as heart failure, heart arrhythmias, and coronary heart disease.
As we can see, sleep plays a crucial role in our overall health. Practicing good sleep hygiene, implementing regular exercise into our routines, striving for maintaining a healthy diet and when possible removing unneeded stressors from our lives will help us to obtain the quality of sleep that we, and our hearts, deserve. February is Heart Health month and it’s a great time for everyone to take a moment to focus on our heart health by providing it with a good night’s sleep. Take care of your heart and it will take care of you.
At Snore MD, we pride ourselves in helping patients achieve the best sleep possible. If you or someone you know feels that they could benefit from a consultation with one of our amazing dream team please feel free to reach out as we are happy to help.