There's no way to state the importance of heart more than we already know. It is, obviously, the most vital part of the body. It is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body and powers the circulatory system. The heart makes sure that all tissues and organs receive the required oxygen.
Unfortunately, the heart is becoming one of the major causes of illnesses and deaths in the US. People already know different factors that cause heart problems like poor diet, smoking, little exercise, and others. However, Sleep Science researchers now recognize sleep deprivation also as a danger to heart health. One of the most common issues among the American population is chest pain due to lack of sleep.
When we sleep, the body goes to rest and recharges itself. Sleep plays a significant role in every aspect of physical health and mental. For example, doctors advise you to take rest and sleep when you're injured, so you recover faster. Lack of sleep can cause the cardiovascular system to fluctuate in blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks, cholesterol, and stroke.
Thus, getting a good amount of sleep can help their cardiovascular system to function better. Also, people with heart problems should sleep well to live a heart-healthy lifestyle and avoid clinical visits.
Sleep Deprivation and Heart Health Relationship
There's a lot of evidence supporting how sleeping problems such as sleep apnea and sleep deprivation cause adverse effects on the heart. Sleep time is an important time for the body to rejuvenate. For example, during the NREM sleep stage, heart rate slows down, blood pressure also drops and stabilizes breathing. The changes in the body reduce stress on the heart to recover from the strain you went through the day.
When you don't sleep enough at night, the body doesn't go through the stages of NREM so the heart can recover against the strain. A similar problem may also arise if you sleep but wake up frequently, disturbing the sleep cycles. Due to this, sleep deprivation is closely associated with many heart problems. Some of the significant issues caused by sleep deprivation include obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, mild to severe chest pain, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack.
Below are examples of how sleep can cause various heart problems.
- Blood pressure and sleep
When you sleep well at night, blood pressure drops around 10-20%. This drop is known as nocturnal dipping and is crucial for cardiovascular health. When you sleep poorly, no matter the reason, the blood pressure doesn't take a dip. This elevated blood pressure is not suitable for health, and research has found it associated with various forms of hypertension.
Nocturnal dipping is considered more effective on heart problems than high blood pressure issues during the day. Non-dipping is also connected with increased heart stroke and attack risks. It is also linked with various other issues such as kidney and reduced blood flow in the brain.
- Obesity and sleep
Obesity is often associated with lack of sleep, as found in various studies. US citizens who don't sleep for seven hours every night have seen higher body mass index (BMI) than those who sleep for more than seven hours every night. Sleep is crucial to control the hormones which cause hunger. On the other side, lack of sleep and sleep disruption promotes overeating and boosts high-calorie food desire.
- Coronary heart disease and sleep
One of the foremost agents of death in the United States of America is coronary heart disease, otherwise known as coronary artery disease. This problem appears when plaque builds up in the arteries. This build-up hardens and narrows the arteries in a condition known as atherosclerosis. This condition disables the ability of the heart to receive enough oxygen and blood.
Researchers at Sleep Science have found sleep deprivation to be one of the factors causing coronary heart disease. The plaque formed due to inflammation involving white blood cells produced in the immune system collected in the arteries. Lack of sleep can trigger chronic inflammation, contributing to the hardening of the arteries and plaque formation.
Sleep Deprivation and Heart Palpitations
Most sleep disorders cause detrimental effects on the heart. One of the most common sleep disorders in the US, insomnia, causes lack of sleep and may lead to elevated cardiovascular risks. Another sleep disorder, known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), causes heart diseases, diabetes, obesity, stroke, and high blood pressure.
People who suffer from OSA fall short of breaths during sleep as their airway gets blocked frequently. The breathing disruptions caused by OSA causes sleep fragmentations, due to which it is closely connected to multiple cardiovascular problems. Also, disturbances in respiration reduce the oxygen levels in the blood, making it worse for heart problems.
Other abnormal sleep disorders like restless leg syndrome (RLS) and periodic limb movement disorder are also linked with heart health. The exact explanation as to how these syndromes take a toll on heart health is not known. Doctors and professionals believe it is related to the abnormal activation of the cardiovascular system due to the conditions. These conditions also induce fluctuating heart rates and elevated blood pressure.
Another sleep disorder, known as the circadian rhythm of the body, also causes cardiovascular problems. A circadian rhythm is an internal clock in every person which lets the body understands the difference between day and night. The period of one circadian rhythm cycle is 24 hours, and then it resets.
When this internal clock goes out of sync, it can cause various cardiovascular problems. For example, night shift workers sleep during the day and have higher risks, including hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. The misaligning of the internal clock in older people can also cause cardiac events such as stroke or heart attack.
How to Improve Heart Health?
One of the best ways to keep a tab on your heart health is by sleeping well at night. Find a mattress that comforts your body and if you're not sure how to find the perfect mattress, visit Mancini's Sleepworld near you. They have developed a new technology known as the SleepMatch to help you find the ideal mattress companion. The technology calculates thousands of parameters and suggests the best options for you. All you need to do is pick the phone and book an appointment for SleepMatch at the nearest mattress store, as there are present in more than 30 locations in Northern California alone.