World Heart Day 2022: Doctor Explains How Sleep Affects Heart Health

Heart Health


World Heart Day 2022: Doctor Explains How Sleep Affects Heart Health

A good night’s sleep allows the body to rest and gain energy so that it can perform physical activities throughout the day. Currently, western countries are experiencing sleep loss, with people sleeping on average 6.5 hours per night, which is quite low. A number of studies have found that not getting enough sleep or getting too much can increase the risk of heart disease.

People with sleep apnea are considered to be prone to heart disease. In sleep apnea, breathing pauses briefly during sleep. A person can gasp for air for up to 30 minutes during these pauses thus making the person to wake up breathless.

Insufficient sleep prevents individuals from spending enough time in deep stages that are beneficial to the heart. People whose sleep is frequently interrupted have similar problems. Therefore, chronic sleep deprivation has been associated with heart attacks, strokes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

CVD’s is a leading cause of deaths in India which basically happens when plaques builds around the arteries and narrowing them into a condition known as atherosclerosis. The impact of sleep deprivations on CVD’s is majorly affected by BP’s as stress strains the arteries making it difficult to pump blood from the heart.

In an exclusive interaction with OnlyMyHealth editorial team, Dr Anbu Pandian, Medical Advisor, Agatsa shares some advice for a best heart healthy sleep.

How Sleep Affects Heart Health

1. Avoid caffeinated drinks

It is recommended to avoid caffeinated drinks during bed time as it keeps you awake. Caffeine blocks adenosine – a sleep promoting chemical, thus making an individual awake and vigilant. Moreover, regular consumption of caffeine can have an adverse impact on pregnancy.

2. Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol can disturb the long term sleep patterns thus giving an individual a feeling of half-awake or half asleep. Sleep walking and parasominas are other disruptive sleep disorders which are the outcomes of alcohol drinking during bedtime.

3. Engage in physical activity

Physical activity assists in getting a good night’s sleep. Stress and anxiety are the biggest enemies of sleep, and exercise is the best way to reduce them. When an individual exercises, the brain releases hormones that help combat stress and anxiety. The more active the body, the more it puts an individual to sleep. Also, experts don’t suggest bedtime exercise as it heats up the body temperature which needs to be brought to normal before one falls asleep.

4. Turn off gadgets half an hour before sleeping

As screens and eyes have a tricky relationship, smartphone habits play a major role in sleep patterns. The blue light from the phone represents daylight, which can be harmful to the internal body clock at night. In order to achieve peaceful and relaxing sleep, one should avoid watching TV, using computers, or using their mobile phones while sleeping.

5. Set regular wake and bed times

A routine can help the body maintain and stick to it. Sleep quality and quantity are equally important for an individual. It is therefore beneficial to establish a routing as a means of maintaining both.