When a person experiences trouble sleeping, tiredness throughout the day is not the only side effect they will experience. Lack of sleep can be a novice to one’s health, and the risks one poses when they don’t get enough sleep at night sometimes appear in unexpected places. One of these places is the heart.
During the time a person sleeps the body repairs all the damages done to it throughout the day, levels out hormones and produces the necessary growth hormones, stabilizes blood sugar levels, and much more. That is why it is so necessary to get enough hours of good quality sleep at night.
Without sleep, the body does not have enough time to regroup and repair itself, and if the sleep deprivation goes on for too long, the effects can be very dangerous. In this blog, we will be explaining how lack of sleep affects your heart health, and give you some advice on how to sleep enough hours a night.
Effects of Sleep Deprivation on the Heart
One of the most prominent health conditions that sleep deprivation causes is that it highers the risk of cardiovascular complications. Since one of the symptoms of sleep disorders is high blood pressure, the strain on the cardiovascular system is apparent early into a sleep disorder. When there is an abnormal strain on the heart’s vascular structure, the risk factors for heart disease increase greatly. The walls of the arteries are at risk of getting blood clots that will eventually travel into the brain. These blood clots pose a high risk of both heart attack and of stroke.
When a person’s blood pressure and heart rate is high, there is a higher risk of damaging the blood vessels in the brain. The blood flow is too much to handle after the strain. Stoke can be caused both by a ruptured blood vessel and by a blood clot as we have previously mentioned.
Another risk that a person poses when their sleep duration is short or non-existent is the risk of type 2 diabetes. When the body sleeps, it also produces and stabilizes insulin in the body. When an individual does not have enough sleep or their sleep habits are not consistent, their body does not produce enough or any insulin. This raises the risk of developing diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes raises the risk of developing high blood pressure or hypertension. Type 2 diabetes also causes an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease and heart failure. Abnormal levels of cholesterol and triglycerides lead to clogged arteries, dizziness and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
When an individual does not get enough sleep, this certainly can cause damage to the heart and increases the chance of developing diabetes and heart disease. It is very important that we pay close attention to our sleeping and waking times and prioritize sleep. Poor sleep habits can have a lasting effect on our health.
If I Think I Have a Sleep Disorder, What Should I Do?
The first step when you think you may have a disorder or feel troubled about your health is to go see your doctor. It is most important that you get an examination if you have not been getting enough sleep or you have had trouble going to sleep for more than a couple of days in a row. It is important to talk through all your symptoms with a medical professional in order to receive the appropriate treatment for your sleep disorder. Sometimes, there is an underlying cause for your lack of sleep. Anxiety and stress is a common factor.
Your doctor will be able to prescribe medications and/or techniques that will suit your disorder and hopefully put an end to it. There are some simple tips you can use to improve the quality of your sleep and/or increase your chances of getting as many hours sleep as you need to help heal your body. Turning off electronics such as your phone, tablet, TV or radio increases your chances of being able to fully wind down.
Cut down on caffeine during the day to allow yourself to tire out naturally. Caffeine is a stimulant and so is nicotine. Complete any work you have left do an hour before you plan on going to bed. Do not exercise too close to your bedtime. Try to do at least 30 minutes to an hour of physical activity throughout the day since exercise helps calm the brain, helps push toxins out of your body, and produces endorphins which help the mind feel at ease throughout the day.