1. Home
  2. Health & Lifestyle

Are Your Sleep Habits Sabotaging Your Heart Health? Here's What You Need to Know

Did you know that getting a good night’s sleep is critical for your heart health? Sleep is not a luxury. It is critical to maintaining good health. It helps our body repair itself and our mind process information. Getting a good night’s sleep is also essential to help us function normally during the day.

Aarushi Chadha
The quality of sleep and the duration of sleep are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

Not getting good quality sleep for any reason, whether because of an untreated sleep disorder or simply not getting enough sleep, raise your odds of developing many conditions that can worsen heart disease.

For instance, poor sleep makes us feel tired and affects the hormones leptin and ghrelin, which influence appetite and metabolism. You’ll end up gaining weight if you have too little sleep or have an undiagnosed sleep disorder even if you eat right and exercise. Poor sleep also impacts our mood, which can have adverse effects on our personal and professional life, which can worsen anxiety and depression.

Effects of Poor Sleep on Heart Health:

  • Effects on blood pressure- During healthy sleep, our blood pressure drops. This is known as nocturnal dipping and plays a role in cardiovascular health. Poor sleep, whether it is caused by lack of sleep or sleep disruptions, is associated with non-dipping. Studies indicate that non-dipping is related to high blood pressure and increases the risk of stroke and heart health.

  • Increases risk of obesity- Lack of sleep is associated with obesity. Studies indicate that people who sleep less than seven hours per night are more likely to have a higher body mass index. This is because sleep helps regulate the hormones that control hunger, and lack of sleep or sleep disturbances can trigger overeating and boost the desire for high-calorie foods.

  • Sleep affects heart rate- Our heart rate tends to drop when we sleep and then picks back up as we prepare to wake up. On the other hand, poor sleep, such as abruptly waking up, can generate a sharp uptick in heart rate. Studies indicate that people with sleep problems are more likely to suffer from an irregular heartbeat.

  • Memory issues- Sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on our short and long-term memory. This is because while we sleep our brain processes new information and helps us form connections that will help us remember.

Sleeping habits to avoid the risk of developing heart disease

While it is not clear what the best sleeping position is for your heart health, however, the quality of sleep and the duration of sleep are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

Ways to Improve Your Sleep Quality:

  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule- Try to stick to a regular sleep schedule by going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day, even on the weekends and holidays.

  • Don’t smoke, drink alcohol, or drink coffee- Tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine are all stimulants that can affect our sleep schedule. Plus, smoking cigarettes increases our risk of high blood pressure and heart rate.

  • Exercise daily- Exercising every day for at least 30 to 40 minutes helps improve sleep quality and reduce stress and the risk of a heart attack.

  • Make your bedroom comfortable- Make sure that your bedroom is dark, and quiet, and the bedding is comfortable.

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet- Do not eat right before going to bed. A heavy meal can affect sleep duration and quality severely. The quality of sleep is also affected by an unbalanced diet. Therefore, ensure that the fruits and vegetables you eat help protect the heart, improve blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Also, maintain a healthy weight.

Take this quiz on World Meteorological Day to check your knowledge about meteorology! Take a quiz
Share your comments

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters