IS A LACK OF SLEEP AFFECTING YOUR CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH?
People are continuing to get less and less sleep. Due to busy work and personal schedules, dozens of distractions, and simply not making sleep a priority, 1 in 3 people are getting fewer than seven hours of sleep per night. Sleep deprivation is known to cause low cognitive ability, car accidents, behavioral problems, and memory loss. A lack of sleep can also be a factor in depression, premature aging, and obesity. But could not getting enough sleep also put you at risk for heart disease?
Sleep is a key component in staying healthy. It is important for every part of the body, and that includes the heart. Here is what you need to know about heart health and sleep.
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
The amount of sleep required each night can vary from person to person and often depends on age. Adults, including seniors, typically need a minimum of seven hours of sleep and should try not to exceed nine hours per night. Children and teenagers need even more sleep, ranging from 8.5 to 13 hours of sleep depending on their age.
Only 2 in 3 Americans claim they get the recommended amount of sleep each night. Getting less than seven hours one or two nights in a row will not cause any real damage to your health, as long as it is not habitual. However, if you are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, it can cause a variety of serious health problems, including heart disease.
How Can Sleep Deprivation Affect Your Heart?
In some cases, not getting enough sleep can directly lead to a heart condition. However, sleep deprivation can also cause other risk factors that affect your heart health. Not getting enough sleep can affect your heart in the following ways:
Type 2 Diabetes
Studies have shown that sleep is important for maintaining regular blood sugar levels. When one does not get enough sleep, they are putting themselves at risk for diabetes. High blood sugar can damage the blood vessels and lead to poor circulation and other heart conditions over time.
High Blood Pressure
Sleep helps lower your blood pressure throughout the night. However, if you have trouble sleeping soundly or are not getting enough sleep, it means your blood pressure stays high for extended periods of time. Since having high blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke and heart attacks, it is important to get enough sleep, so your blood pressure can stay at a healthy level.
There are direct ties between not getting enough sleep and unhealthy weight gain. This is especially prevalent in children and teenagers. This is because a lack of sleep can affect the part of the brain that controls hunger. Those who do not get enough sleep are more prone to eat more and crave unhealthy, sugary foods. Obesity or being overweight can put extra strain on your heart and blood vessels. Maintain a healthy weight and curb craving by being sure you get enough sleep.
Getting enough sleep can be easier said than done. Life can often get in the way of maintaining a healthy sleep schedule. However, be sure to get the right amount of sleep every night and rest easy knowing you are helping your heart stay happy and healthy.Return