We all know that our heart health is essential to living a long time and having a good quality of life in those advanced years as well. You probably do a lot to ensure your heart stays healthy, like getting plenty of exercise, avoiding eating too much cholesterol, and regularly visiting your doctor for check-ups. One thing you may not be focusing on, though, is your sleep. The relationship between poor sleep and heart disease is strong, and experts have been warning about it for years.
Adults who sleep less than the recommended seven to eight hours each night are much more likely to say they have had a variety of health problems, including asthma and depression. Health problems specifically related to the heart that is more likely if you are not sleeping long enough and well enough include:
High blood pressure
This one is actually pretty easy to understand if you know what your body is doing while you’re fast asleep. During normal sleep, your blood pressure goes down. Any type of sleep problem, like not sleeping enough or waking frequently, means your blood pressure stays higher for a longer amount of time than it should. This leads to chronic high blood pressure for the simple fact that it is not lowering for as long each night as it should. High blood pressure is one of the leading risks for heart disease and stroke, so it is something to be taken very seriously.
Type 2 diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that causes sugar to build up in your blood, a condition that can damage your blood vessels. Diabetes and poor sleep can easily fall into a vicious cycle. Any time your blood sugar is really high, your kidneys try to get rid of it by urinating, which means you are getting up and going to the bathroom all night long and not sleeping well. People who didn’t sleep well wake tired and will eat more because they want to get energy from a fatty or carb-filled meal. This often means consuming sugar or other foods that can spike blood sugar levels. If left unchecked, high blood sugar levels build in the body to the point where they can harm many vital organs, including the heart.
For the same reason it can lead to a spike in blood sugar, a lack of sleep can also lead to unhealthy weight gain. Not getting enough sleep may affect a part of the brain that controls hunger. If we are sleep deprived, we make poor food choices and will most likely opt for a heavy meal instead of a lighter and healthier option. And just the same, a meal that is extra fatty or spicy will make it difficult to fall asleep, causing the cycle to repeat itself the next day. Those with excess weight, especially around their midsection, are at a significantly higher probability of suffer from high blood pressure, hypertension, and other heart-related maladies.
Experts go further to say that these health problems raise the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Getting enough good quality sleep is important if you want to lower your risk of these conditions. Do you know how to protect yourself? There are a variety of things you can do to sleep better. Stick to a regular sleep schedule, including on the weekends. Get enough physical activity during the day and avoid artificial light, especially within a few hours of bedtime.
Keep your bedroom quiet, cool, and dark. And of course, make sure you’re laying down each night on the perfect sleep surface for your comfort needs.
Sleep is not a luxury! On the contrary, sleep is absolutely vital to good health. Getting enough good sleep helps you function normally during the day, and allows your body to stay healthy in the long term. If you are not getting good sleep because of a poor mattress, flat pillows, chronic back pain, snoring problem, or a number of other sleep issues, make tonight the last night you miss out on what your body needs. City Mattress is here to help! Our sleep-trained experts can discuss what issues are keeping you up at night or causing you to wake frequently. It is very possible that a high-quality mattress, adjustable bed base, or new sleep system altogether is the answer you and your heart are looking for!