6 Steps to Better Sleep and Improved Heart Health – L’Observateur

6 Steps to Better Sleep and Improved Heart Health – L’Observateur
6 Steps to Better Sleep and Improved Heart Health – L’Observateur

6 Steps to Better Sleep and Better Heart Health

Posted Sunday, April 16, 2023 at 8:30 am

(Family Trait) Keeping your heart healthy is more than eating right and exercising regularly. While these practices play an important role in both cardiovascular and overall health and well-being, getting a good night’s sleep is also key.

“A good night’s sleep is critical to cardiovascular health,” says Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, MD, SC.M., FAHA, past volunteer president of the American Heart Association and chair of the American Heart Association’s Division of Preventive Medicine. Eileen M. Foell Professor of Cardiac Research and Professor of Preventive Medicine, Medicine and Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Average adults should aim for 7-9 hours, with babies and children needing more depending on their age.”

Yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-third of adults in the United States don’t get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night. In addition to increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, heart attack, heart attack and stroke, sleep deprivation may also put people at risk for depression, cognitive decline, diabetes and obesity.

Although high blood pressure is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease and the number one cause of death worldwide, it can run in families but is more common in non-Hispanic black adults (56%) than in non-Hispanic white adults More common (48 %), non-Hispanic Asian adults (46 %) or Hispanic adults (39 %). A healthy lifestyle, including sleep, can help prevent this.

“We know that people who get enough sleep are also better able to manage other health factors, such as weight, blood sugar and blood pressure,” Lloyd-Jones said. “The American Heart Association added sleep to its list of factors that support optimal cardiovascular health. We call these essentials8 and they include: eating a healthy diet, not smoking or vaping, staying physically active, getting enough sleep, and controlling blood pressure and Maintain healthy cholesterol and lipid levels, healthy blood sugar levels and healthy body weight.”

What’s more, falling asleep at different times or sleeping at inconsistent times each night, or even varying by more than two hours per night within the same week, may increase the risk of atherosclerosis, a cardiovascular disease in which plaque builds up in the Body accumulation according to published in “Journal of the American Heart Association

“Maintaining a regular sleep schedule and reducing sleep variability is an easily modifiable lifestyle behavior that can not only help improve sleep, but also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in older adults,” said the study’s lead author, Ph.D. Master Dr. Kelsie Full said. Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Epidemiology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

American Heart Association education on healthy heart habits is supported nationally by the Elevance Health Foundation. Some practices to improve sleep health and affect heart health include:

Observe current sleep habits

Keeping a sleep diary to help track your sleep patterns and habits can make it easier to identify factors that may be helping or hurting your sleep quality. Monitor when you go to bed, when you wake up in the morning, how many times you wake up during the night, how you feel when you wake up, and any variables such as changes in your routine or sleep schedule. Producing documentation over a period of several weeks can help you identify necessary changes.

avoiding food and drink close to bedtime

It may be harder to fall asleep if you’re still digesting dinner. To help reduce sleep disruptions caused by food, avoid late dinners and minimize fatty and spicy foods. Likewise, watch your caffeine intake and avoid it later in the day, as it may hinder falling asleep.

exercise regularly

Physical activity during the day can have a dramatic effect on overall health, but can also make it easier to fall asleep at night because it can trigger changes in energy use and body temperature. But exercising too close to bedtime can hinder your body’s ability to settle down; aim to finish exercising at least four hours before you plan to go to bed.

Establish a bedtime routine

Getting a good night’s sleep often requires developing a routine. Start by setting an alarm to signal that it’s time to start relaxing. Instead of going straight to bed, take the time to create a to-do list for the next day and complete small chores. Then consider doing some calming activities like meditation, journaling, or reading (not on a tablet or smartphone) before bedtime. Also set an alarm to wake up every morning, even on weekends, and avoid hitting the snooze button to keep your biorhythms in sync.

Create a comfortable sleeping space

An ideal sleeping space is dark, quiet and a comfortable temperature, usually around 65 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the individual. Use room-darkening curtains or a sleep mask to block out light, and use earplugs, a fan, or a white noise machine to help drown out distracting noise. Remember that using your bed only for sleep and sex helps create a strong mental connection between your bed and sleep.

Avoid Technology Before Bedtime

Bright lights from TVs, computers, and smartphones can disrupt your circadian rhythm, keeping you alert when you should be relaxing. Try to log out of electronic devices at least an hour before bed and use the “do not disturb” function to avoid being woken up by your phone throughout the night. Even better, charge your device away from the bed or in another room entirely.

Find more tips on managing blood pressure and developing healthy sleep habits at Heart.org.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

American Heart Association

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