A good night’s sleep is very crucial for good health and we sometimes forget about this. Whether we’re working late, spending too much time on our phones before bed, many things can stand in the way of a good night’s rest. In this post, we share how a lack of sleep affects your health and provide tips on getting a better night’s sleep.
Some Health experts recommend that adults between 18 and 65 to aim for at least seven hours of good-quality sleep per night. However, more than 1 in 3 adults say they don’t get enough sleep.
During sleep time, the body repairs itself and recharges for the upcoming day. This process is crucial for maintaining physical and mental health. Otherwise, the lack of sleep may lead to different health problems, including high blood pressure, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
For the heart, sleep is essential in lowering blood pressure and stress levels. People who do not get enough sleep for a very long time have been linked to experiencing risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular problems.
Two primary types of sleep disorders can interfere with our ability to get a good night’s sleep: sleep apnea and insomnia.
- Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing stops and restarts many times while asleep. This prevents the body from getting enough oxygen.
- While Insomnia is a condition that makes it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep.
Why should you get enough sleep?
To keep the heart healthy
When you sleep, the body has a chance to rest and repair, the heart also doesn’t have to work as hard and your blood pressure can stay at a healthy level. Also, sleep helps regulate hormones in controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
To support a healthy immune system
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body’s ability to fight off viruses and bacteria is weakened—meaning you’re more likely to get sick.
To maintain or lose weight
Sleep and weight are closely linked—studies have shown that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to gain weight and have a higher body mass index (BMI). It is also linked to hormones, increasing ghrelin levels (a hormone that makes us feel hungry) and decreasing leptin (a hormone that makes us feel full).
To improve concentration and productivity
Getting enough sleep helps increase ability to focus and be productive because it takes away the element of being tired.
How can I get better sleep?
There are steps you can take to improve the quality of your sleep.
- Firstly, avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime. Caffeine and alcohol can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- You can establish a regular sleep schedule and stick to it as much as possible. Going to bed and waking up simultaneously each day will help train your body to fall asleep more easily.
- Creating a relaxing bedtime routine and making sure the bedroom is dark, quiet, and comfortable can help improve the chances of getting a good night’s sleep. Some people also go a step further by playing ocean, rain or stream sounds.
Lastly, monitor your heart health, stress, tension, and energy levels with by booking an appointment with our cardiologists and ENT Specialists to best know how more you can improve your heart health and sleep.