Importance of sleep for heart health
How does it feel to wake up after a good night’s sleep? You feel energetic and rejuvenated; ready to face every adversity head on, right? The sad part is that you hardly feel like this in today’s modern world. Not getting sufficient sleep is harming our hearts.
Importance Of Sleep For Heart Health
Sleep is an essential part of overall health. It is not a luxury; it is very much needed for our well-being. As per studies done sleep is essential for heart health. Several chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, depression and cardiovascular disease are linked with not getting sufficient sleep.
Sleep and Diabetes
Diabetes (type 2) is not just about maintaining weight and eating healthy. Research has found out that sleep too has an essential role to play when it comes to type 2 diabetes. As per the studies done, people who sleep less than 6 hours a night are 3 times more likely to develop a condition where your body is unable to regulate glucose as well as it should. Now, how is this related to heart health? People with this condition have a bigger risk of developing type 2 diabetes and are at a bigger risk of heart disease and stroke.
Sleep and Chronic Stress
Lack of sleep is known to increase the production of the stress hormone ‘cortisol’. Stress affects the health of the heart. Also, lack of sleep increases the levels of the hunger hormone ‘ghrelin’. This leads to more cravings and you will eat more than needed by your body. This would make it hard to prevent diabetes (type 2) and heart disease.
Insufficient sleep is linked to several cardiovascular diseases that include high BP, stroke, irregular heart beat and coronary heart disease.
Studies say that lack of sleep increases the chances of suffering from stroke or heart disease. Less sleep results in calcium deposits in the arteries. A study found that even one hour of extra sleep in the sleep deprived subjects resulted in a 33% decrease in their chances of developing calcium deposits in their arteries.
Sleep and Obesity
If you are overweight you are putting strain on your heart. For children and adolescents, it is essential to get sufficient sound sleep as it is important for the development of the brain. Lack of sleep can affect the part of the brain that controls appetite. Not getting enough ZZZs can negatively affect the hunger hormone ghrelin and stress hormone cortisol as mentioned earlier. This can cause overeating and eventually make you overweight.
Sleep and Depression
Sleep disturbances have been linked to depression. Studies have shown that symptoms of depression are effectively treated once the sleep is restored.
Depression has a negative effect on the heart, therefore this makes sleep essential for heart health.
What to do?
I know that nobody wants to give up on their sleep purposely, it is just that you are unable to sleep at night. Here are a few tips that may be handy:
- At least an hour before going to bed, stop watching TV or using the laptop.
- Play some relaxing music and try going in for a hot bath.
- Read a book to relax your mind.
- Make your bedroom a calm place with light coloured curtains and bedsheets.
- Keep the room lighting minimal when want to doze off.
- Avoid consuming alcohol and coffee just before going to bed.
- Try doing stress busting activities daily.
Hope this helps!! If you are still unable to sleep consult a doctor. Read more about importance of sleep here.
Did you happen to realize the importance of sleep for heart health?
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