Getting a good night’s slumber is not exactly at the top of most adults’ priorities. However, it should be because the consequences of a lack of sleep extend far beyond waking up grumpy and feeling unwell. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American Heart Association (AHA), studies have found that sufficient sleep is vital to heart health.
How Lack of Sleep Impacts Heart Health
Without sufficient sleep, you increase developing heart disease and experiencing a heart attack, regardless of your weight, age, exercise habits, or if you’re a smoker or not. Renowned cardiologists in Kanab emphasize this. Unfortunately, individuals who have coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, a stroke history, or heart failure usually don’t get enough sleep. This is especially true for those who also have sleep apnea—common in individuals with the health issues mentioned—which is a disorder that results in the temporary and repeated collapse of the airway while sleeping. This results in oxygen deprivation. Basically, sleep can significantly influence heart issues and vice versa, which can lead to a vicious cycle if the root cause remains unresolved.
But How Much Sleep Is Enough?
A rule of thumb to getting good sleep at night is around seven to eight hours. However, this can vary widely from one person to another. Likewise, a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association concluded that:
- In females and males, those who regularly slept for seven hours nightly had the lowest risk of developing heart disease.
- In females and males, those who routinely slept more than 10 hours daily had an increased risk of heart disease by as much as 20% in the span of 10 years. In this case, the old adage holds true—too much of a good thing isn’t good for anyone.
- For females, getting only six hours or less of sleep nightly increased their risk of developing heart problems by 13% up to 23% in the span of 10 years.
- For males, sleeping for only six hours or less at night increased their risk of developing heart issues by 10% in the span of 10 years.
What to Do If You Can’t Get Enough Sleep
All people would have a hard time sleeping at some point in their lives. However, if you find yourself having trouble going to sleep almost every night, you may have to change your bad habits first. You can do stimulating activities prior to sleeping or staying up extremely late. Try getting into a sleep routine—sleeping the same time nightly and waking up each morning at the same time—and turning your bedroom into a place conducive to sleep. If your sleep issues are due to emotional or mental health issues, consult your doctor about the possibility of therapy and/or medications.
Put simply, getting enough sleep is vital to heart health. Therefore, you need to make sure that you do all that you possibly can to reduce your risk of developing heart disease and get enough sleep.