Sleep Disorders Can Affect Cardiovascular Health?

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Sleep Disorders Can Affect Cardiovascular Health?

Sleep Disorders Can Affect Cardiovascular Health?

Most people know by now how important it is to get a good night’s sleep. What few realize is that sleep disorders don’t just leave patients feeling groggy and struggling to stay awake. They can also affect cardiovascular health.

How Sleep Disorders Affect Heart Health

All adults need to get at least seven hours of sleep per night. Without that break, their bodies won’t have time to recuperate from daily stresses. 

The heart suffers more than most organs as a result of inadequate or fragmented sleep. When people enter the non-rapid eye movement (NREM) stage of sleep, their blood pressures drop, their breathing stabilizes, and their heart rates slow down. The cumulative effect is that the heart becomes less stressed and better able to recover from strain.

Ensuring optimal heart health isn’t just about going to bed on time every night. Sleep disorders that interrupt the NREM stage can also increase patients’ risks of strokes and other adverse cardiovascular events. Conditions that can interrupt NREM sleep include:

  • Sleep apnea

  • Insomnia

  • Limb movements during sleep

  • Sleep restriction

  • Environmental factors like shift work

  • Other frequent sleep disturbances

Sleep Disorders and Heart Attack Risk

People who get less than six hours of sleep per night are at a 20% higher risk of having heart attacks. They spend more time in REM sleep instead of NREM sleep, which heightens stress and activity. Sleep interruptions can be equally problematic.

When people wake up in the middle of the night, their blood pressure and heart rate spike abruptly upon awakening. Frequent sleep disruptions can also affect patients’ risks of having a heart attack by increasing cardiac stress.

Sleep and Heart Failure

Heart failure causes the heart to pump insufficient blood throughout the body and brain. There’s a strong correlation between sleep disorders and heart failure. The more symptoms of unhealthy sleep a person has, the more likely he or she is to experience new or worsening heart failure. People who are already at high risk for developing heart failure may want to make appointments with Carolina Cardiology Associates now for an evaluation.

Again, this is not a simple matter of getting enough sleep every night. Insomnia and daytime sleepiness are two indicators that poor sleep health may be contributing to a patient’s risk of cardiovascular disease. However, people with sleep apnea or another underlying condition that causes them to wake up frequently during the night are also at higher risk for heart disease, even if they get a full seven hours of sleep over the course of the night. 

Heart failure is a degenerative condition that cannot be reversed. However, its progression can be slowed, or even stopped, with the right lifestyle changes, medications, or surgical interventions. Visit to learn about treatment options.

Schedule an Appointment With a Specialist

The first step for any patient concerned about his or her risk for heart disease is to schedule an appointment with a specialist. Visit to get in touch with a cardiologist in South Carolina today. The experts at Carolina Cardiology have access to all the most advanced diagnostic, preventative, and interventional measures. They can help.

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Address:196 Cardiology Drive
City: Rock Hill
State: SC
Country: United States