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Poor Sleep and Its Relation to Heart Disease

Poor Sleep and Its Relation to Heart Disease

Do you get seven hours of sleep each night? While that’s the recommended amount for adults aged 18-60, only two in three people actually reach that. And daytime sleepiness is far from the only consequence.

Skimping on sleep or sleep quality can contribute to a range of health problems, including an increased risk for heart disease.

Our expert team, including Jeffery Tun, MD, and Anton Sabiev, MD, at the offices of Jeffery Tun, MD, in Midtown East, Forest Hills, and the Queens neighborhoods in New York City, diagnoses and helps you manage high blood pressure and other heart-related concerns so that you can lead a fuller, healthier life.

What happens when you sleep

When you sleep, your body and brain get a chance to slow down and engage in recovery processes. This makes way for stronger mental and physical functioning afterward and long-term. 

Nearly every part of your body undergoes changes during the different stages of sleep. This includes slowed breathing that ramps up during the deepest stage known as REM sleep. Similarly, your heartbeat gradually slows down until you reach REM sleep, at which point it quickens.

Sleep also plays an important role in regulating the creation of essential hormones, such as:

How poor sleep affects your heart health

The hormones that sleep help your body produce influence your heart health, too. Poor cortisol levels, for example, are linked with hypertension. And if your appetite increases significantly, you could end up gaining unhealthy amounts of weight – a risk factor for heart disease.

A sleep deficiency could also lead you to skip exercise or have difficulty going about it, due to exhaustion and fatigue. That’s risky as well, given that a sedentary lifestyle can fuel heart disease

Poor sleep is also linked with non-heart-specific conditions that raise your risk for cardiovascular disease, such as:

In other words, too little or poor sleep may lead to problems such as clogged arteries, high blood pressure, and even heart attack over time. One study linked sleeping fewer than six hours per night with a 20% greater risk of heart attack.

Turning it all around

If you’re struggling with sleep problems or showing signs of heart disease, our team at Jeffery Tun, MD, can help. After conducting a physical exam, we can make recommendations for further testing or treatments.

Lifestyle changes we may suggest include:

If you struggle with hypertension regardless, we may prescribe a blood pressure medication. We can also help treat underlying conditions, such as anxiety.

To learn more about sleep issues and heart disease or to get the care you need, call one of our offices or request an appointment through our website today.

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