Sleep plays a key role in both the development and progression of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Specifically, short sleep duration and insomnia, alone or in combination, are associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
Sleep provides time for the body to restore and recharge, playing a key role in nearly all aspects of physical health. For the cardiovascular system, insufficient or fragmented sleep can contribute to problems with blood pressure and heighten the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and stroke.
Sleep for people with heart disease
Because numerous factors can influence both sleep and cardiovascular health, it's most helpful to talk with your doctor about heart-healthy sleep. A doctor can help develop a specific plan to improve your sleep while also addressing other lifestyle factors, such as diet and exercise, important for your heart and overall wellness.
Sleep tips for people with heart problems:
- Develop strategies for relaxation: Techniques like deep breathing, yoga, light stretching, and mindfulness meditation are just a few beneficial approaches for people with heart problems.
- Plan a consistent sleep schedule: Keeping the same bedtime and wake-up time every day is considered one of the key ways to encourage healthy and stable sleep.
- Design an accommodating bedroom: A comfortable mattress and pillow, a pleasant temperature, and as much quiet and darkness as possible.
- Avoid negative influences on sleep: Alcohol and caffeine can interfere with sleep and are best avoided at night. Excessive use of electronic devices, including your cell phone, can also throw off your sleep patterns, which is why experts recommend not using these devices for an hour or more before bed.