The Sleepy Heart
Not getting a good night of sleep can lead to drowsiness during our daily activities. But that’s not all. Some sleep problems can also harm our hearts.
Sleep and waking have direct impacts on our hearts. Any time we wake from sleep, our blood pressure and heart rates increase – and our hearts have to work harder.
Some sleep-related breathing disorders also impact the heart. In Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), the upper air passage is blocked, preventing oxygen from getting into the lungs and resulting in low blood oxygen levels. In Central Sleep Apnea (CSA), the air passage remains open, but the person fails to make an effort to breathe.
People with sleep-related breathing disorders are more likely to have high blood pressure and are more at risk for heart disease and stroke. The drop in oxygen from not breathing and the increase in heart rate and blood pressure caused by waking up put stress on the heart. The continued fluctuations in blood pressure eventually lead to increases in blood pressure even during the day.
Studies have shown that OSA increases the risk of death from coronary artery disease. And, an estimated 40% of people with congestive heart failure also have CSA.
The good news is that treating sleep-related disorders can actually decrease a person’s chance of developing cardiovascular disease.
Sleep disorders are treatable and appropriate treatment can lead to a healthier heart. Visit LexingtonSleepSolutions.com.