What the Heart Tells Us About Sleep

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Most of us love to sleep. And surprise—our hearts love it, too.

But the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says more than a quarter of the U.S. doesn’t get enough of the stuff. And it’s hurting more than our energy levels—it’s harming our hearts.

Did you know sleep deprivation is associated with a number of chronic diseases that can hurt this vital organ?

Consider the research:

  • According to a 2010 study published in the Annals of Epidemiology journal, people who sleep less than six hours per night are three times more likely to develop incident-impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG), a condition where your body isn’t able to properly regulate glucose, which leads to a greater risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. If snoring is the reason you stay up at night visit emsafety, and check out their sleep apnea mouthpieces.
  • Other studies have shown that a lack of sleep can increase the body’s production of cortisol, a hormone produced in response to stress that can result in weight gain even when dieting and increased blood sugar results—which again can lead to diabetes, a cure to which, is medical weight loss.
  • Researchers have also found that lack of sleep results in a 28% increase in average levels of ghrelin, known as the hunger hormone, leading to increased cravings and consumption of unhealthy foods. (Diabetes again—not to mention heart disease and stroke.)
  • There are also many studies linking insufficient sleep to a number of cardiovascular diseases, including high blood pressure, stroke, coronary heart disease and irregular heartbeat. The most recent, seen in the February 2011 issue of European Heart Journal, showed that sleeping less than six hours per night gives you a 48% greater chance of developing or dying from heart disease and a 15% greater chance of experiencing or dying from a stroke.
  • Another 2008 study from the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the sleep-deprived are more likely to develop calcium deposits in their coronary arteries, raising their risk for heart disease.
  • A January 2007 issue of the Harvard Heart Letter reported that poor sleep increases levels of C-reactive protein and other substances that rev up the body’s sympathetic nervous system, which can strain the heart.
  • There are a lot of new tehcnologies now, so you can search forprograms for treating diabetes in adults

So now that you know how important sleep is to heart health, what can you do about it?

Click here to find the answers on SleepRate’s blog!