Silent Night: What Good Sleep Does to Your Heart

woman sleepingHealthy eating and regular exercise are not the only ones that can boost your heart health. Sleep, as studies suggest, is an also important factor — with better night slumber translating to better cardiovascular health. Poor sleep quality, on the other hand, is associated with a greater risk of high blood pressure and heart conditions.

The Amount of Sleep You Need

While the recommended amount of sleep varies from person to person, most people require at least seven hours every night. Cardiology centers in Beaver note that some can get away with six hours, but any amount less than that can compromise your heart and overall health. Sleep deprivation may not necessarily cause you to develop heart disease, but it increases the risk factors for the said condition.  

Effects on the Heart

When the body doesn’t get enough sleep, the heart is greatly affected. Lack of sleep slows down the metabolism, which causes challenges in losing unwanted weight. Sleep deprivation also zaps your energy and makes you feel tired, causing to avoid daily physical activity or any other efforts in becoming or staying healthy.

Enjoy the Rewards

Good sleep provides benefits the moment you wake up. Apart from feeling refreshed and energized, quality slumber also offers a host of health rewards like reduced stress hormones, improved mental health, and a better immune system. Those who sleep for seven to eight hours, furthermore, have less anxiety and better concentration. 

Here are a few other ways in which quality sleep benefits the heart:

  • Quality sleep minimizes pressure on the heart, as heart rate and blood pressure declines while you’re sleeping.
  • Sleep deprivation can lead to increased C-reactive protein (CRP), a risk factor for heart and cardiovascular disease.
  • Too little sleep may cause insulin resistance, which is a risk factor for the onset of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and other chronic illnesses.

If you spend most nights tossing and turning, there are many things you can do to deal with the situation. You can start by exercising daily and developing a pre-bedtime routine, which may include having a hot shower and turning off electronic devices. It's also advisable to consult a doctor if you’re experiencing sleep problems or other heart concerns.