Sleep Can Affect Your Cardiac Health

Get Enough Sleep for Healthy Heart

One of the top reasons to get enough sleep is to protect your heart. People who sleep less than 6 hours and people who sleep more than 9 hours are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Recent studies have linked shortened and prolonged sleep with increased risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). Short sleepers have 48 percent increased risk of CHD, whereas long sleepers have a 38 percent increased risk. Studies indicate that coronary calcium, the kind that may cause coronary artery calcification and disease, increases with lack of sleep.

As blood pressure and heart rate fall at night, the heart works less during a good night's sleep. In fact, the heart rate of people who are sleep deprived usually remain elevated. Lack of sleep can increase insulin resistance which can cause type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It can also increase C-Reactive Protein, the levels of which rise in response to inflammation, and is a risk factor for cardiovascular and heart disease. Shortened sleep interferes with appetite: you eat more food or the food is less healthy.

The interrelationship between shorter / longer sleep and heart disease are not completely understood. The lack of sleep does not necessarily cause heart disease. Insomnia sleep disorder is the most common problem in America, affecting about 30 percent of adults. Overall, sleep duration has decreased about 2 hours per night in the last 50 years. Doctors suggest people who have trouble sleeping should make sure that everything in the bedroom is comfortable from the mattress to the temperature. People should establish a daily wake time and ignore the clock when going to bed.