Improving Your Sleep for Better Heart Health
You’ve undoubtedly heard that a healthy diet and regular exercise is good for your heart, but did you know that sleep is critical to its health too? That’s right, closing your eyes and laying in your comfy bed and allowing your body ample time to rest can work wonders for your cardiovascular system.
A Good Night’s Sleep
The average adult should get around seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Can you confidently say that you achieve this? It is easy to lose control of your sleep schedule. It’s almost inevitable to lose sleep for one or two days in a row every once in a while. But once you make lost sleep a habit, that’s when the real health ramifications begin.
Sleep is not only a time for your eyes to rest, but allows every part of your body to recharge. When you are falling asleep or are asleep, your heartbeat begins to slow and your blood pressure drops, allowing for your heart to recuperate from the day’s activities. Without sufficient sleep, or interrupted sleep, your heart does not get the chance to recover, causing more strain and effort for the days to come.
According to the CDC, lack of sufficient sleep is linked to heart conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Little sleep may also be connected to higher rates of heart attack, stroke, heart disease, and depression.
What Can You Do?
You owe it to yourself to allow for a good night’s sleep, but this is easier said than done. It’s hard to turn off your brain when you finally get the chance to lay down and close your eyes. Thoughts can race through your head, and you can overthink whatever has been stressing you out. This can be avoided with a proper bedtime routine.
To begin, you should try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. That means seven days a week. You may be thinking that there is no way you are giving up you weekend sleep-ins, but when you don’t miss sleep during the week, there’s less reason to binge on late morning wake ups during your days off.
You should try to incorporte some physical activity during the day too – even better if that physical activity is outside. Fitting in some physical activity during the day can allow your body to expel extra energy and restlessness and allow for a better night’s sleep.
PUT DOWN THE PHONE! People today spend far too long staring at screens on a daily basis. The artificial light causes your brain to decrease the natural production of melatonin – the body’s sleep chemical. Instead of scrolling through social media or binge watching a TV show, read a book, go for a walk, pick up a new hobby, meditate. Do anything to allow your brain to relax and begin its natural progression towards sleep.
Lastly, your room should be well set up for good rest. Make sure you invest in a comfortable mattress and pillow, keep the room cool at night and make sure there are no extraneous lights that could keep you awake. Remember, you’re spending a third of your life asleep, so make it count!
If you would like to talk to a cardiologist about what you can do to improve your heart health, schedule an appointment with us today. The Heart House is dedicated to working with every one of our patients to ensure their happiest and healthiest life possible.