Chronic sleep deprivation can have long-term effects on cardiovascular health. A senior cardiologist explains how poor sleep can lead to cardiovascular problems.
In a world of binge-watching movies and busy schedules, sleep is often an afterthought in our lives. However, the effects of consistent neglect of sleep go far beyond just restlessness and fatigue, and can have a significant impact on cardiovascular health, leading to an increased risk of heart disease and related complications. there is.
A recent 2023 Pennsylvania State University study found:Restorative sleep after sleep restriction is insufficient to return elevated daytime heart rate and systolic blood pressure to baseline levels.Key indicators of cardiovascular health, such as heart rate and systolic blood pressure, were found to decline progressively over the course of a week when individuals were restricted to just five hours of sleep each night. Importantly, common methods of trying to make up for lost sleep over the weekend proved inadequate to bring these important health markers back to normal levels.
Dr. Santosh Kumar Dora, Senior Cardiologist, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai, said: Reveal the effects of chronic sleep deprivation on cardiovascular health.
The science behind sleep and cardiovascular health
Sleep repairs, rests and rejuvenates our bodies. During sleep, the body performs important functions such as regulating hormones, consolidating memories, and supporting immune system function. Additionally, sleep plays an important role in maintaining cardiovascular health. The relationship between sleep and the heart is complex and involves various mechanisms. One important aspect is the effect of sleep on blood pressure regulation. Inadequate sleep can raise blood pressure, which over time can increase the strain on the heart and blood vessels. In addition, sleep deprivation unbalances certain hormones such as cortisol and insulin, which play important roles in regulating metabolism and inflammation. Imbalances in these hormones can contribute to the development of conditions such as obesity and diabetes, both of which are significant risk factors for heart disease.
sleep time and heart health
Studies consistently suggest that people who get less than 7-8 hours of sleep each night are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular problems. In addition, long-term sleep deprivation is associated with an increased likelihood of developing an arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. Such heart rhythm disruptions put additional strain on the heart and can lead to serious complications.
The role of sleep quality
It’s not just how long you sleep that matters. It is also the quality of sleep. Conditions such as sleep apnea, in which breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep, can have a significant impact on cardiovascular health. Sleep apnea is associated with increased risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart failure. This disorder puts stress on the cardiovascular system due to lack of oxygen and disturbed sleep patterns.
Prioritize healthy sleep habits
Here are some simple steps that everyone can follow.
- Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule helps regulate your body clock.
- Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature for a good night’s sleep.
- Screen exposure, especially before bedtime, can interfere with the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. Try to reduce your screen time for at least an hour before bed.
- Limit stimulants near bedtime. It is well known that caffeine and nicotine interfere with sleep.
- Exercise regularly. However, avoid strenuous exercise near bedtime as it may interfere with sleep.
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