The Link Between Sleep & Your Heart Health
Table of Contents
- Power Everything Down
- Do Not Nap!
- Stick To A Sleep Schedule
- Be Active
- Calm Down
- Create A Restful Environment
- Contact Your Health Care Provider
The heart circulates blood through two paths-the system circuit and the pulmonary circuit. When blood is circulated through the system circuit, the oxygenated blood leaves the body through the left ventricle to the aorta. From there, it goes to the arteries and capillaries, supplying your tissues with oxygen. The deoxygenated blood will then return through the veins to the canea cavae and re-entering the right atrium.
The other pathway-the pulmonary circuit-consists of deoxygenated blood that leaves the right ventricle through the pulmonary artery, which then travels to the lungs. It will then return as oxygenated blood to the left atrium through the pulmonary veins.
Insomnia, sometimes confused with Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder (DPSD), consists of very long sleepless nights that can cause a wide array of problems during the day. You may experience trouble concentrating, irritability, high blood pressure, increased stress hormones, lack of energy and a faster heart rate. All of these things are risk factors for heart failure.
In a study conducted in 2013, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology studies the direct link between insomnia symptoms and cardiovascular risk factors. There were 54,279 men and women ages 20 to 89 studied over the course of 11 years. During that time, 1,412 individuals were diagnosed with heart failure.
Participants who showed three or more symptoms of insomnia were linked to a threefold increased risk of heart failure. There’s no proof that insomnia causes heart failure directly, but there is significant findings that show it can have some sort of effect on the heart.
How Long You Sleep Matters
The ideal sleep duration is between seven to eight hours per night. Short sleepers, aka the 20 to 30 percent of people who only get six hours or less of sleep, are at a greater risk for bad health outcomes including the risk for obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Those who sleep longer than 9 hours per night have risk as well, but it’s not as great.
Researchers from the United Kingdom and Italy published a study in the journal called “Sleep” that showed both long and short sleep durations and predicted death among participants from 16 studies. It was said that short sleepers had a 12% greater risk of death than those who slept for the recommended time each night. Long sleepers had a 30% higher risk for dying. When it came to short sleepers, the cause of death was coronary artery calcification.
Sure, there are going to be some days when sleeping for those recommended hours aren’t going to happen, but it doesn’t mean that you’re going to drop dead from a heart attack or stroke. You just need to watch how long you sleep or don’t sleep for because short sleepers also have the risk of poor metabolism, which leads to overeating. This can lead to high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which can take a toll on the function of the heart.
Heart palpitations are skipped beats, extra beats, or pauses in beats. It can also be fluttering in the chest and a flip-flopping sensation. It is caused by the disruption of the normal electrical activity or function of your heart. They are a common occurrence in those who suffer from anxiety, high levels of stress, those who lack sleep, have too much caffeine or too much exercise. It can also be a sign of heart disease or some other disease the can affect the heart or other parts of the body.
Since a lot of heart problems can be caused by stress and anxiety, it is certainly possible that sleep deprivation can cause heart palpitations or heart racing. The less you sleep, the more anxious and nervy you get, leading to these palpitations. Also, if you suffer from atrial fibrillation, it causes palpitations. Lacking sleep can also affect this condition, making it worse.
What Is A Normal Heart Rate When Sleeping?
This is a very common question a lot of people have when they think there’s something wrong with their ticker. A normal heart rate when sleeping is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. If you are a trained athlete, it can stand between 40 and 60 beats per minute.
If you aren’t sure how to determine your heart rate, it’s rather simple to learn. Check out this video for a step by step on how to check your pulse. Your resting heart rate can predict your longevity and cardiovascular health.
Resting Heart Rate: 60-100 beats per minute
Tachycardic Heart Rate (too fast) : Over 100 beats per minute
Bradycardic Heart Rate (too slow) : Less than 60 beats per minute
Power Everything Down:
Stick To A Sleep Schedule:
Create A Restful Environment:
Contact Your Health Care Provider:
As you can see from all of the supported evidence above, sleep can be directly related to heart health. If you aren’t getting enough of it and even if you are getting too much, it has an effect. It’s best that you try to use some of the techniques I talked about to get you in the sleeping mood. Getting more sleep, and relaxing more, can even help you boost productivity in addition to cardiovascular well-being. If none of that helps, contact your doctor. You may have a serious underlying health issue that is causing you to not sleep well.