Warning: Illegal string offset 'region' in /home/delra5/public_html/nutriculamagazine.com/wp-content/plugins/mygeopositioncom-geotags-geometatags/mygeopositioncom-geotags-geometatags.php on line 386

Warning: Illegal string offset 'placename' in /home/delra5/public_html/nutriculamagazine.com/wp-content/plugins/mygeopositioncom-geotags-geometatags/mygeopositioncom-geotags-geometatags.php on line 390

Warning: Illegal string offset 'position' in /home/delra5/public_html/nutriculamagazine.com/wp-content/plugins/mygeopositioncom-geotags-geometatags/mygeopositioncom-geotags-geometatags.php on line 394

Warning: Illegal string offset 'addMap' in /home/delra5/public_html/nutriculamagazine.com/wp-content/plugins/mygeopositioncom-geotags-geometatags/mygeopositioncom-geotags-geometatags.php on line 639

Warning: Illegal string offset 'position' in /home/delra5/public_html/nutriculamagazine.com/wp-content/plugins/mygeopositioncom-geotags-geometatags/mygeopositioncom-geotags-geometatags.php on line 561

Warning: Illegal string offset 'position' in /home/delra5/public_html/nutriculamagazine.com/wp-content/plugins/mygeopositioncom-geotags-geometatags/mygeopositioncom-geotags-geometatags.php on line 603
Published On: Sun, Feb 5th, 2012

Proper Sleep = Healthy Heart


Warning: Illegal string offset 'addMap' in /home/delra5/public_html/nutriculamagazine.com/wp-content/plugins/mygeopositioncom-geotags-geometatags/mygeopositioncom-geotags-geometatags.php on line 639

Warning: Illegal string offset 'position' in /home/delra5/public_html/nutriculamagazine.com/wp-content/plugins/mygeopositioncom-geotags-geometatags/mygeopositioncom-geotags-geometatags.php on line 561

Warning: Illegal string offset 'position' in /home/delra5/public_html/nutriculamagazine.com/wp-content/plugins/mygeopositioncom-geotags-geometatags/mygeopositioncom-geotags-geometatags.php on line 603

-by Kristie Leong, M.D.

You exercise, eat a healthy diet and wouldn’t dream of lighting up a cigarette, but at midnight you’re still in front of your desk finishing up a project or surfing online. Some people are habitual night owls. They burn the midnight oil and regularly skimp on sleep. 

But a lack of restful sleep could come back to bite you. Research suggests that too little, and surprisingly, too much sleep, increases the risk for heart problems. 

Heart disease is the most common cause of death, and many heart-related deaths could be prevented with lifestyle changes – and that includes getting an adequate amount of sleep

Is Too Little or Too Much Sleep Putting Your Heart at Risk?

Sleep is a tricky thing when it comes to warding off heart disease. Sleeping too little is harmful, but spending too much time in dreamland may work against you too. A meta-analysis published in the European Heart Journal showed that people who skimp on sleep by getting less than 6 hours a night have a greater risk of heart disease and stroke. 

On the other hand, don’t spend too much time slumbering. The same study also showed that people who sleep more than 9 hours have a higher risk of dying of heart disease and stroke. There seems to be a “happy medium” when it comes to sleep, and studies suggest that between 7 and 7.5 hours a night is ideal for most people. 

Unfortunately, not everyone is getting that amount!!!! 

Why Does Sleep Affect Heart Disease Risk?

No one knows exactly why sleep is important for a healthy heart, but there are theories. 

Lack of sleep increases stress levels and levels of hormones like cortisol and epinephrine that elevate blood pressure. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that sleeping less than 6 hours a night boosts the risk of hypertension by 37%. 

It’s harder to explain…the other end of the spectrum – why too much sleep is a problem?

Some studies show that sleeping more than 9 hours a night increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, which is a risk factor for heart disease

Sleeping too much and not staying active also increases insulin resistance, which is a precursor for both type 2 diabetes and heart disease

People who spend lots of time sleeping are also at greater risk for obesity due to lack of physical activity.

It’s also possible that some other condition may cause some people to feel fatigued and sleep longer, and also increase the risk of heart disease. It’s hard to show cause and effect based on the limited amount of research available. 

What Does This Mean?

Rank sleep right up there with nutrition and exercise as factors that are important for a healthy heart. There may be some individual variability in how much sleep each individual needs, but more than 6 hours and no more than 8 seem to work best for most.

Sleep quality may be just as important as sleep quantity. If you’re tossing and turning and waking up during the night, you’re not doing anything positive for your heart or your health. 

To improve the quality of your sleep:

Block out all sources of light. Light blocks the secretion of melatonin, a hormone you need for sound sleep and for health. You may also benefit from taking a melatonin supplement if insomnia is a problem. Talk to your doctor about this

Make sure your sleeping area is comfortable and conducive to sleep and that the temperature is just right. Sleep on a comfortable mattress with fresh, clean sheets and pillow. Avoid watching television or working on your computer in bed. Take a warm bath to unwind before turning in. 

Eliminate caffeine from your diet if you have problems sleeping. Sip herbal tea such as chamomile tea to relax prior to bedtime. 

Go to bed and get up at the same time every night, even on weekends. Your body will adapt to this schedule, and you’ll fall asleep faster. 

Find ways to relieve stress like meditation, tai chi or yoga.  Some people have problems sleeping because they lie awake worrying at night. Most importantly, make sleep a priority. It’s more important than you think. 

References:
Eur Heart J (2011) doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehr007.
WebMD. “Sleep Habits Linked to Diabetes, Death

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Join the Nutricula Magazine Mailing List
Follow Me on Pinterest

Recent Posts

Suzy Cohen,

Preventing Cold and Flu

December 5, 2017, Comments Off on Preventing Cold and Flu

Crickets! Good Food for You & Fido

August 24, 2017, Comments Off on Crickets! Good Food for You & Fido

Historical Hemp

August 24, 2017, Comments Off on Historical Hemp

SMART WOMEN’S CHOICE- A vaginal gel that is made with safe, natural ingredients.

October 20, 2015, Comments Off on SMART WOMEN’S CHOICE- A vaginal gel that is made with safe, natural ingredients.

“Female Viagra”: Women, Just Say “NO” To Addyi

October 6, 2015, Comments Off on “Female Viagra”: Women, Just Say “NO” To Addyi

Chef Mimi’s “Cool” Recipe for the “Hot” Dog

September 15, 2015, Comments Off on Chef Mimi’s “Cool” Recipe for the “Hot” Dog

Does your Dog or Cat have Genetic problems?

September 15, 2015, Comments Off on Does your Dog or Cat have Genetic problems?

subscribe-image