Sleeping problems and heart attacks, how are they linked?
There are plenty of factors that lead to the United States’ #1 death cause; and yes we are talking about heart attacks. Unhealthy habits are some of the most recognized elements that conduct a person straight to suffering from this serious consequence; and among all basic recommendations that health professionals advise; it is highly important to maintain top quality sleeping hygiene if we want to avoid any major health issue.
People with heart diseases often suffer from sleeping disorders, and vice versa; a clear example is when there is heart failure; it will most likely affect our breathing, which could manifest into a serious sleeping apnea or even nocturnal chest pain; where the best scenario could cause an immediate interruption of our sleeping cycle.
Being constantly interrupted or not having the opportunity to maintain the Non-REM (non-rapid eye movement) stage while we sleep, could lead to serious heart issues; and that is because here in this particular sleeping phase; is where our body reduces every one of its functions, including its heart rate along with the blood pressure, allowing our breathing to stabilize. Therefore, if we are not able to spend enough time in this stage, our heart will be the first one suffering the consequences.
Besides the Non-REM stage, there is another one that follows up with this one; and it is known as the REM stage; the difference between these two stages is that; while the first one allows our heart and body to pause and reduce its activity for several minutes; the other one is in charge of activating every function of our body (except our physical movements) even more than when we are awake; increasing the blood pressure of our heart as well; which is why we should be able to complete our sleeping cycle adequately keeping these two stages balanced for the good of our heart health.
Along with that, frequent interruptions in our sleep tend to cause cardiac stress; because all the sudden awakenings experienced, increases the risk to our heart of suffering from a heart attack.
Improving our healthy habits to prevent heart consequences
If we want to achieve good healthy sleeping habits it is particularly necessary to establish basic rules and routines; in order to maintain them functioning correctly; that means we should follow constantly some or all of the next recommendations:
- Practice exercise; the earlier the better, and considerating the type of training we need according to our physical condition.
- Eat healthy food; balancing each of the 6 basic nutrients that we all know which are water, vitamins, minerals, proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates.
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol or caffeine beverages; especially near your bedtime because they always tend to increase blood pressure and our heart starts functioning more than what is needed.
- Implement night time routines along with sleeping exercises to keep our mind and body as calm as possible, which will allow our blood pressure to slow down.
- Set up an ideal bedroom environment with an optimal temperature, along with comfortable sheets and pillows that allow us to relax and sleep pleasantly.
Possible heart risks when not sleeping correctly
Sleep disorders always tend to harm our heart health in the first place; and a recent observational study found out that people that sleep less than 7 hours daily had suffered or presented symptoms of heart failure; some of the most common conditions that were linked with not resting appropriately during the night are:
- Chest pains
- Heart attack
If you feel that you are not sleeping the recommended hours you should and you have tried all kinds of remedies, the best advice we could give is to visit a sleep specialist as soon as possible; they are the only ones that will be able to provide the correct treatment in order to prevent any further health complication.