Yes, sleep and heart health are two integral components of a healthy lifestyle.
While many people may not think of sleep as having an effect on their heart health, the truth is that getting enough quality sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy heart.
In this blog, we’ll discuss how sleep can improve heart health and offer tips for getting better sleep.
Heart health sleep study
Sleep is essential for our overall physical and mental health, and it can even have an impact on our heart health. In fact, research has found that improving sleep quality can help reduce the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular issues, making it an essential part of any health plan.
The link between sleep and heart health is complex, but the basic premise is that the body needs good, quality sleep in order to keep the cardiovascular system functioning properly. During sleep, the body repairs itself, including the cardiovascular system. Poor sleep can disrupt this repair process, leading to an increased risk of heart problems.
One of the most important aspects of improving heart health is getting enough quality sleep.
Most adults need around seven to nine hours of sleep per night, depending on individual needs. It’s important to get enough sleep, however it’s also important to get quality sleep. Quality sleep is uninterrupted sleep, and it’s vital to make sure that we’re sleeping in a comfortable and supportive bed.
One way to help us get enough quality sleep is to practice good sleep hygiene. This means creating a comfortable sleep environment and establishing a regular sleep routine.
This can include avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine in the evening, as well as limiting screen time before bed. It’s also important to create a dark, quiet, and cool environment for sleeping.
Another key is to make sure that we’re eating a healthy diet and supplementing our diet with quality vitamins and minerals.
Eating a healthy diet alongside supplementation can help support a healthy cardiovascular system, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Eating a balanced diet that is low in saturated and trans fats, and high in lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables, can help keep your heart healthy.
Exercise is another key to help to keep our heart healthy and can help improve sleep quality.
Aiming for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week is a wise move. Getting enough quality sleep, practicing good sleep hygiene, eating a healthy diet, taking sleep/heart specific supplements, and exercising regularly are all essential for maintaining a healthy heart.
Which sleep position is best for my heart?
Sleeping on the left side is considered the best position for heart health. This position can allow for better blood flow and reduces the risk of heartburn and acid reflux, which can be irritating to the heart and blood vessels.
Can lack of sleep cause heart problems?
However, what’s most important is to find a comfortable sleep position that works for you and allows you to get good quality, restful sleep.
Sleep is also important for maintaining a healthy heart because it helps regulate our body’s stress hormones. During the day, our bodies are exposed to a variety of stressors, including work, family, and financial challenges. When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies produce more cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Too much cortisol can lead to an increase in our blood pressure and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Sleep and weight loss
Sleep also helps to regulate our body’s metabolism. When we don’t get enough sleep, our body’s efficiency to regulate our metabolism reduces, leading to an increase in fat storage. This can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, given that carrying too much weight can lead to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
How does sleep affect my heart health?
In addition to regulating stress hormones and metabolism, sleep also helps to protect our hearts. During sleep, our heart rate slows down and our blood vessels relax, allowing for an improved flow of blood and oxygen to our heart. This helps to reduce the risk of blood clots, which can lead to a heart attack.
Sleep also helps to reduce inflammation in the body, which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that people who get enough sleep have lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker for inflammation.
How sleep affects mental health
Finally, getting enough sleep helps to improve our overall mental and emotional well-being.
When we don’t get enough sleep, our moods can suffer and we may become more irritable and angry. This can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, since stress and anger can lead to an increase in blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Sleep hygiene tips
To help improve our heart health, we can now see it’s important to get enough quality sleep. Here are some tips to help you enjoy better sleep:
1. Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on the weekends.
2. Limiting our caffeine intake. Avoiding drinking caffeine late in the day as it can interfere with our sleep.
3. Avoiding alcohol before bed. Alcohol can disrupt our sleep and cause us to wake up during the night.
4. Avoiding screens before bed. The blue light from screens can disrupt our body’s natural circadian rhythm and make it harder to fall asleep.
5. Eating a healthy diet and taking sleep and heart-specific supplements designed to support a health heart
5. Exercising regularly. Regular physical activity can help us to sleep better and reduce stress.
6. Creating a relaxing bedtime routine. Reading or listening to calming music before bed can help our body relax and prepare for sleep.
By following these tips, we can improve our heart health by getting better sleep. Sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy heart, so if you’re looking to improve your heart health, it makes sense to prioritise sleep and create a healthy lifestyle.
PS. If you’d like to learn more about heart health and diet just click here
1. Sleep quality helps lower heart risk – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34080247/
2. Supplements helping heart health – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/supplements-for-heart-health-which-ones-are-beneficial-and-which-ones-are-not
3. Moderate exercise helps heart health – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6172294/#:~:text=Frequent%20exercise%20is%20robustly%20associated,more%20favorable%20plasma%20lipoprotein%20profile.
4. Sleep duration affects heart health – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6172294/#:~:text=Frequent%20exercise%20is%20robustly%20associated,more%20favorable%20plasma%20lipoprotein%20profile.
Fi Jamieson-Folland D.O., I.N.H.C., is The LifeStyle Aligner. She’s an experienced practitioner since 1992 in Europe, Asia and New Zealand as a qualified Osteopath, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, speaker, educator, writer, certified raw vegan gluten-free chef, and Health Brand Ambassador.