sleep for a healthy heart

Are You Getting Enough Sleep For A Healthy Heart?

We all know the importance of a good night’s sleep. Giving your body and mind the time to recover is important, and nobody likes feeling tired and irritable after a poor night’s sleep. Good sleep is essential for your health, and even more than you might have previously thought. A recent study has revealed the amount of sleep needed for a healthy heart – are you getting enough?

6-8 hours recommended sleep for a ‘healthy heart’

Six to eight hours is the recommended amount of sleep for a healthy heart, say experts. Having too much or too little sleep could put an individual at greater risk of heart disease or stroke, according to researchers presenting at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Munich, Germany.

The study, led by Dr Epameinondas Fountas of the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre in Athens, found that too much or too little sleep could be ‘bad for the heart’ over a prolonged period. While the occasional late night or lie-in is unlikely to do any long-term harm, continued over-sleeping or sleep deprivation could have serious consequences.

Effects of lack of sleep on health

Earlier this year, Britons were told to ‘get a good night’s sleep’, to combat the mass sleep deprivation that’s affecting the population. Studies have regularly shown that high numbers of the population don’t get enough sleep, leading to various cognitive and health problems.

When you fail to get enough sleep, you can feel the effects quite quickly by feeling tired and irritable the next day. Prolonged lack of sleep can affect your concentration, which is dangerous for driving and work. Not getting enough sleep could also lead to conditions such as high blood pressure and obesity, which can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health issues.

Sleep is also important for your mental wellbeing. Over time, prolonged sleep deprivation can cause anxiety and depression. These conditions can also cause a lack of sleep, so if you’re at all concerned about your sleeping habits, you should consult your GP.

Improving your sleep for a healthy heart

If you frequently sleep in or miss out on a good night’s sleep, then you might want to change your habits for the sake of your health. Some of the things you can do to improve your sleeping habits include:

  • Help your body clock by making sure you see some natural sunlight during the day.
  • Try to reduce your use of electronics an hour before you go to bed
  • Avoid caffeinated products later on in the day
  • Try to avoid napping for too long as it could prevent you sleeping at night
  • Set yourself a routine where you wake up and go to bed at the same time each day
  • Make your bedroom a quiet, relaxing place for sleeping

If you struggle to get to sleep at night, or you’re suffering with prolonged sleep problems – make sure you book an appointment with your GP. Regular lack of sleep could affect your health, so the sooner you address your problems, the sooner you can get some much-needed sleep for a healthy heart.