Providing Health and Well Being Through Proper Sleep Will Change Your Life
Understanding the Vital Connection between Sleep Disorders and Cardiovascular Disease

Sleep has been found to serve a range of critical functions for the body. These functions include increasing memory, eliminating toxins and restoring and bringing healing to major body systems.

Insufficient sleep has been linked to the development of several chronic diseases and conditions, including cardiovascular disease. Because cardiovascular disease leads to often fatal episodes such as heart attacks and strokes, the connection between this condition and sleep quality must be understood.

Defining the Elements of High-Quality Sleep

A person experiences high-quality sleep when the optimum duration of restorative rest occurs on a regular, ongoing basis. Though the necessary number of hours varies by age group, quality sleep should be uninterrupted and refreshing. High-quality sleep enables all functions of restoration and repair.

Identifying the Elements of Sleep Disorders

Many people experience occasional nights of interrupted or shortened slumber due to outside circumstances, such as demands of work and family. A sleep disorder should be considered when an individual experiences an ongoing feeling of fatigue, sleepiness or sluggishness that cannot be explained by hectic schedules or a specific event.

The two most frequent sleep disorders are insomnia and sleep apnea. Insomnia is the inability to go to sleep or to remain asleep for a therapeutic length of time. Sleep apnea occurs when the throat closes for brief but repetitive periods. This interruption to breathing causes oxygen deprivation and the inability of the buildup of carbon dioxide. Both conditions wreak havoc on the body.

Understanding the Connection between Sleep Disorders and Cardiovascular Disease

Persons with sleep disorders experience several risks, including coronary heart disease, hypertension, irregular heart rhythms (cardiac arrhythmias) and stroke. Sleep apnea and hardening of the arteries share some common physiological characteristics, suggesting that sleep apnea serves as a significant predictor of cardiovascular disease.

Insufficient sleep is linked to obesity, unproductive glucose metabolism and high blood pressure. In contrast, those who sleep longer and better tend to have less belly fat, healthy blood pressure, and elevated levels of “good” cholesterol.

Interrupted sleep releases specific proteins that cause inflammation in the blood. This inflammation reduces the sensitivity to insulin, which can raise blood sugar and lead to diabetes. Fragmented sleep results in high levels of catecholamine hormones that elevate blood pressure and stiffen the heart muscle.

As more research is done in the link between sleep disorders and cardiovascular disease, the number of discovered connections increases.

The health of your cardiovascular system is central to your overall wellness. If you are experiencing any symptoms of a sleep disorder, a proper sleep study is a must. Protect your health today by setting up a sleep health consultation.