How Sleep Affects Your Heart

Sleep appears to play a key role in heart health

(RxWiki News) How well you sleep may have an impact on how healthy your heart is.

When you don't sleep, you may think more slowly. Your eyes may feel heavy. And you might wish you could lie down all day.

But as it turns out, sleep deprivation may have a longer-term effect on your cardiovascular health — even if you can't feel it the day after you've pulled an all-nighter.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting too little sleep has been tied to obesity, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

And all three of those conditions have been tied to negative heart health outcomes. That includes a raised risk of stroke and heart attack.

Meanwhile, the American Heart Association says that too little sleep can increase inflammation in the body. And higher inflammation has been tied to a raised risk of developing heart disease.

So, how much sleep are you supposed to get if you want to keep your heart healthy?

According to the CDC, adults typically need at least seven hours of sleep every night. The amounts are higher for kids, and they vary by age.

If you're trying to get more or better sleep, consider these tips from the CDC:

  • Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet and cool.
  • Avoid eating or drinking too close to bed time (avoid alcohol and sugar in particular).
  • Use a blue light filter on your phone or computer to reduce your exposure to artificial light a few hours before bed.
  • Get enough exercise during the day, but don't work out too close to bed time.
  • Keep a strict sleep schedule with the same bed time and wakeup time every day.

If you are concerned about your sleep or heart health, reach out to your healthcare provider.

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Review Date: 
October 6, 2022