Sleep is an integral part of our life, It helps our body to recover and rejuvenate after a long tiring day. Although, insufficient sleep It is becoming a serious health concern in modern times, resulting in stress, fatigue, lack of concentration and even serious complications like diabetes and high blood pressure.
during the covid-19 pandemicA study published in the National Library of Medicine states that poor sleep quality has become widely prevalent among the general population in India. At the same time, cases of heart diseases are also increasing among Indians, making us question the possible connection between the two.
“In India, there is an alarming increase in heart diseases among the youth. The disease is much more severe and complications are more common in the younger generation than in older people. With the burden of disease comes loss of productive hours and livelihood. This disturbing trend is mainly due to deteriorating lifestyle, and lack of sleep is a major part of it,” said Dr Rajesh TR, Consultant Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon, Kaveri Hospital, Electronic City (Bangalore).
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Dr Amit Bhushan Sharma, Associate Director and Unit Head – Cardiology Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon agreed that insomnia is directly related to heart health. Describing how sleep is linked to the functioning of the heart, he said, “During the non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep stage, your heart rate slows down and your breathing becomes steady. This is also the time when Your blood pressure drops. All these changes combined help the heart to balance the stress that your body has accumulated throughout the day.”
But, when we don’t get enough sleep, we invite possibilities of health risks such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, heart attack, obesity and diabetes, experts said.
people who watch six to seven hours of sleep a night Those who slept less or more were the least likely to die of a heart attack or stroke, according to a study being presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 70th Annual Scientific Session.
“The BP rises and damages the cardiovascular system; And there is endothelial dysfunction that is directly related to high blood pressure. If we do not give ourselves enough rest, this part of hypertension will manifest as coronary artery diseases, which is blockage,” said Dr Abhijeet Kulkarni, Senior Consultant Cardiologist, Apollo Hospitals, Bengaluru.
Dr Keshav R, Director – Cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Cunningham Road, Bangalore said that apart from not getting enough sleep, there are conditions like: sleep apnea, too, affect one’s cardiovascular health. “It is associated with low oxygen supply during snoring. This elevates the blood pressure and leads to high blood pressure and abnormal heartbeat. This can lead to heart attack, stroke etc,” he said.
Dr Sharma highlighted irregular sleep patterns among youth, describing it as an “unhealthy habit” like “drinking less water and not eating”. “Teenagers, in particular, are glued to their screens all night and damage their sleep schedules which saps their motivation to be physically active and, as a result, results in poor heart health in the long run. . unhealthy food choices There is another reason that causes great damage to the heart,” he said.
Also, have you noticed many experiencing a heart attack early in the morning of the winter months? “The peaks of high blood pressure are seen in the middle of the night and even in the early hours of the morning, when we should be taking deep sleep. A person who is unable to sleep is worried and is going through a lot of stress or has some psychological problems. All these indirectly affect the risk of cardiovascular diseases and occurrence of heart attacks,” explained Dr Kulkarni.
However, it is a two-way street. Heart diseases can also significantly compromise the quantity and quality of your sleep. “When a person sleeps, there is a transfer of fluid from the legs to the heart. If the heart is not able to cope with this extra fluid, this can lead to fluid accumulation in the lungs. In this case, the patient is breathing. I can wake up with a problem. This condition is called orthopnea,” Dr. Keshav said.
In orthopnea, Dr. Kulkarni said, people “sleep with 4 to 5 pillows and tilt them to 45 degrees and then manage to fall asleep. That’s because when the heart is pumping less and you haven’t moved to a recommended position.” All the fluids that are present in the legs and other parts of the body get mixed up with the central system and the heart cannot handle it. It goes back to the lungs.”
A person who is unable to sleep is worried and is going through a lot of stress or has some psychological problems. All of these indirectly affect the risk of heart diseases and the occurrence of heart attacks.Dr Abhijit Kulkarni,Senior Consultant Cardiologist, Apollo Hospitals, Bangalore
“The second condition is that when a person falls asleep, he is unable to sleep and has trouble breathing. This is called paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea (PND). Both of these are features of heart failure,” explained Dr Keshav.
Sharing that one should sleep at least 7 to 9 hours every day, Dr Rajesh suggested the following to get a restful sleep.
* Make a bedtime schedule and stick to it. Follow the same bedtime and wake-up time.
*Received good exercise daily,
*Avoid heavy meals just before going to bed.
*Avoid caffeinated drinks within 4-5 hours of your bedtime.
*Avoid electronic displays before bedtime.
*Reduce any kind of stress and anxiety. Meditation is very helpful.
*You can even change the look and feel of your bedroom so that you can have a sound, uninterrupted restful sleep.
*If you have any symptoms of sleep apnea, consult a doctor. It is definitely treatable.
(Next in series: What role do pillows, mattresses play in determining the quality of your sleep?)
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