March 31, 2010

Are Heart Diseases Caused Due To Sleep Apnea?

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

The effect of lack of sleep on the skin is quite well known. Everyone knows that it causes dark circles and puffy eyes. But, its harms are not limited just to that. It has very serious health risks like diabetes, hypertension, strokes, obesity and heart diseases. If a person sleeps less than seven hours every day, he is four times more likely to have a heart attack, especially if he suffers from high blood pressure. Lack of sleep causes stress to the body, it goes under pressure and gives inadequate time to the arteries to repair themselves causing strain to the heart. At the same time, more than eight hours of sleep everyday can also cause cardiovascular diseases. In the case of heart diseases, it works the other way round too. If heart diseases are caused by sleep disorders, these ailments may also result in a lack of sleep. This is because heart patients often wake up breathless and disoriented in the middle of the night because of a buildup of fluids in the lungs. It also causes sleep apnea, palpitations, and nighttime angina, or chest pain that can disturb the patient’s sleep.

There are many reasons why a person cannot get a good night’s sleep. The major causative factors of sleeplessness are stress, anxiety, tension, depression, overeating, constipation, and an excessive consumption of caffeine and nicotine. A mistake that people make when they cannot get sleep after waking up is they do not try to go back to sleep again. Instead of tossing and turning in bed, the person must indulge in a quiet activity like listening to soothing music or reading and try to sleep again. Other than that, doing exercises like walking, jogging, and doing stretching exercises also helps with sleep. It’s best to exercise late in the afternoon instead of before bedtime. Cutting down on alcohol, coffee, energy drinks, and tea also regulates sleeping hours. Taking a hot relaxing bath before going to bed would also put one to sleep easily. Consuming hot milk, milk from poppy seeds, powdered nutmegs every night also helps one in getting sound sleep. It’s also beneficial to maintain a healthy diet as it prevents problems like constipation, which is also one of the causes of sleeping problems. In any case, a healthy diet is important for having a healthy heart. Getting adequate sleep also helps a person to calm down, relax, and de-stress thereby keeping hypertension at bay, which is a leading cause of heart attacks.