Lack Of Sleep And High Blood Pressure
As mentioned above, high blood pressure is caused due to several factors. Obesity is one of the most prominent causes of hypertension in men and women. Secondly, smoking, stress, alcoholism, diet, tension, suffering from certain health conditions like diabetes, etc also lead to high blood pressure. However, according to recent studies, it has been found that lack of sleep can also cause high blood pressure or hypertension. The adequate amount of sleep required for human beings is 6-7 hours. People who sleep for less than 6 hours are believed to suffer from high blood pressure. Similarly, people who sleep in between 5-6 hours every day are also found to suffer from high blood pressure.
Sleep is essential for human beings for the relaxation of the entire body and mind. When one sleeps, the heart rate also slows down and the blood pressure is low or normal. But when one does not get adequate amounts of sleep, the heart rate and the blood pressure rises, leading to hypertension. Secondly, when we sleep, the body regulates stress hormones which does not occur when one does not get sufficient amounts of sleep. This is also one of the factors that cause high blood pressure. Peculiarly, this side effect of lack of sleep has been found in adults less than 60 years of age. It is believed that as older people naturally sleep for a short period, their lack of sleep does not cause any side effect.
Can Lack Of Sleep Cause Heart Palpitations
Heart palpitations are skipped beats, extra beats, or pauses in beats. It can also be fluttering in the chest and a flip-flopping sensation. It is caused by the disruption of the normal electrical activity or function of your heart. They are a common occurrence in those who suffer from anxiety, high levels of stress, those who lack sleep, have too much caffeine or too much exercise. It can also be a sign of heart disease or some other disease the can affect the heart or other parts of the body.
Since a lot of heart problems can be caused by stress and anxiety, it is certainly possible that sleep deprivation can cause heart palpitations or heart racing. The less you sleep, the more anxious and nervy you get, leading to these palpitations. Also, if you suffer from atrial fibrillation, it causes palpitations. Lacking sleep can also affect this condition, making it worse.
What Sleep Conditions Can Hurt Heart Health
Sleep conditions that can affect heart health include:
- Chronic insomnia. Many adults have troubles sleeping from time to time. Chronic insomnia is when you have trouble falling or staying asleep that lasts for at least 3 nights per week for at least 3 months. Over time, it has been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease, according to the
says that a healthy diet, regular exercise, and stress management may promote the good sleep you need to keep your heart healthy.
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The Many Ways Poor Sleep Affects Heart Health
Poor sleep can affect heart health in many ways, said Dr. Sreenivas Gudimetla, cardiologist at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital. One mechanism is blood pressure. During sleep, it is expected that blood pressure is much lower than during the daytime, typically less than 120/70.
According to Gudimetla, when people have sleep problems, their blood pressure stays higher for a longer period of time, and this elevated blood pressure is a very strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which includes stroke, heart attack, and heart failure.
There have been some published demonstrating a higher risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus, which is a cardiovascular-disease equivalent, with lack of sleep, Gudimetla said.
He said there are other
sleep apnea , which is a major risk factor for many cardiovascular diseases.
Lack of sleep can cause unhealthy weight gain. There have been some epidemiological studies published demonstrating an association with short sleep duration and excess body weight reported on all age groups, Gudimetla said.
Feinsilver said the most common medical reason for poor sleep is sleep apnea.
Thats something you can determine very easily, and clearly this doesnt just cause bad sleep, it causes increased risk of heart disease, increased high blood pressure, increased risk of stroke, Feinsilver said.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Sleep hygiene is a term thats used to describe good sleep habits. Much like being organized and consistent can help with your grades, work performance and physical health, maintaining good habits can help you nab a better nights sleep.
The CDC recommends the following techniques to maintain good sleep hygiene:
This guide to science-based methods for falling asleep faster shares more tips to help you improve your sleep habits and enjoy better, deeper sleep.
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You Have An Anxiety Disorder
Theres also a chance youre dealing with something more than typical everyday stress like we talked about above. Persistent, excessive worry might signal one of several anxiety disorders, like generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or separation anxiety disorder, according to the Mayo Clinic. While each of these anxiety disorders manifests in different ways , they have a few very important symptoms in commonincluding a racing heart.
A racing heart could also be a sign of a panic attack, which are episodes of extreme anxiety common in anxiety disorders, especially panic disorder. Panic attacks are characterized by sudden, unexpected, often paralyzing bouts of fear, and panic disorder happens when a person experiences recurrent, sudden attacks that leave them scared to have another one. A rapid heartbeat is a common panic attack symptom, and it can terrify people even more. You start releasing more adrenaline, and it becomes this vicious cycle, Dr. Mills-Frazier says, adding that sometimes its difficult to tease out whether a rapid heartbeat contributes to someone having a panic attack or vice versa. If you think youre having panic attacks, dont suffer in silence. Talk to your doctor or therapist to figure out which treatment option can best help you avoid these awful episodes.
How To Catch Up On Lost Sleep
If you don’t get enough sleep, there’s only one way to compensate getting more sleep.
It won’t happen with a single early night. If you’ve had months of restricted sleep, you’ll have built up a significant sleep debt, so expect recovery to take several weeks.
Starting on a weekend, try to add on an extra hour or 2 of sleep a night. The way to do this is to go to bed when you’re tired, and allow your body to wake you in the morning .
You might sleep up to 10 hours a night at first. After a while, the amount of time you sleep will gradually decrease to a normal level.
Don’t rely on caffeine or energy drinks as a short-term pick-me-up. They may boost your energy and concentration in the short term, but can disrupt your sleep patterns even further in the long term.
Page last reviewed: 5 August 2021 Next review due: 5 August 2024
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Sleep Deprivation Stage : 48 Hours
The stages of sleep deprivation become even more worrisome when you reach 48 hours without sleep. At this point, your body is under a significant amount of excess stress.
Studies have found that the immune system of people missing out on 48 hours of sleep is usually drastically different from well-rested people. For instance, your levels of white blood cells fall dramatically, making it difficult for you to fight off disease.
A study of healthy people who had been deprived of sleep for 2 days found higher levels of nitrogen in the urine too. This indicates huge levels of stress in your body.
Additionally, your reaction time will be seriously impaired by this point. Youll struggle to keep yourself out of danger and be unable to make even the simplest decisions.
Sleep Apneas Effects On The Cardiovascular System
The repetitive pauses in breathing that characterize sleep apnea can stress and potentially damage not only the heart, but the whole cardiovascular system. While researchers are continuing to learn about the ways in which sleep apnea affects the cardiovascular system and contributes to heart disease, several biological pathways have been suggested.
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What Can I Do To Get Better Sleep
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends.
- Get enough natural light, especially earlier in the day. Try going for a morning or lunchtime walk.
- Get enough physical activity during the day. Try not to exercise within a few hours of bedtime.
- Avoid artificial light, especially within a few hours of bedtime. Use a blue light filter on your computer or smartphone.
- Dont eat or drink within a few hours of bedtime avoid alcohol and foods high in fat or sugar in particular.
- Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.
Work with your health care team to identify obstacles to good sleep, including other medical conditions.
Sleep And Congestive Heart Failure
Damage to the heart that hurts its ability to pump blood is called congestive heart failure . Sleep disorders can be both a cause and an effect of CHF. The low oxygen levels and high blood pressure related to obstructive sleep apnea can cause the kind of damage that leads to CHF. The heart muscle is unable to handle the stress caused by the OSA. People who have CHF from another cause will see it get worse if they then develop sleep apnea. If sleep apnea is treated, however, patients with CHF will see their heart function improve.
About 40% of people with CHF have a sleep disorder called central sleep apnea . CSA occurs when the brain fails to tell the lungs to breathe. As this signal is lost, the lungs do not take in the oxygen that your body needs. This happens most often as people are falling asleep. CSA also causes people to wake up many times in the night. When they wake up, their heart rate and blood pressure both rise.
The low levels of oxygen that result from CSA are very harmful. The result is that CSA may worsen heart failure. In return, the heart failure may promote CSA. This causes a horrible cycle of declining heart function. Properly treating the heart failure is the best way to prevent CSA. If CSA still develops, there are treatments that can be used to keep it from occurring.
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Could Heart Palpitations Accompanied By Shortness Of Breath Be Serious
Heart palpitations can certainly be associated with shortness of breath, that is, the two symptoms together without a serious condition being present. That usually indicates that the irregularity of the heart rhythm is significant and may signal the need for a more comprehensive evaluation.
In general, the more serious the symptoms, such as lightheadedness, loss of consciousness, chest pain, shortness of breath, the more seriously one needs to take the problem.
If a patient has known heart disease such as a previous myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure , hypertrophic cardiomyopathy , and others, the symptoms of palpitations will require a thorough evaluation.
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How Does Sleep Affect Your Heart Health
Getting good sleep isnt just important for your energy levelsits critical for your heart health, too. Learn how sleep is connected to heart health.
Sleep is not a luxury. It is critical to good health. Sleep helps your body repair itself. Getting enough good sleep also helps you function normally during the day.
Get enough sleep. Most adults need at least 7 hours of sleep each night.1
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How To Have Better Heart Health
There are lots of steps you can take to help your ticker including taking more exercise, changing your diet etc but improving your sleep should be top of the list.
If youre struggling with sleep try the following sleep hygiene tips
1 Getting too much or too little sleep may increase a persons risk of heart disease. Those who slept more than 9 hours per night, and those who slept fewer than 5 hours a night, had more calcium in their arterial walls and stiffer arteries two factors that put them at risk of heart disease.
2 Those who cut back their sleep to less than six hours a night are at 4.5 percent greater risk of having a stroke compared to those who slept seven to eight hours a night. Researchers dont know the exact mechanism but it seems chronic lack of sleep causes inflammation, elevates blood pressure and heart rate and affects glucose levels leading to a much higher stroke risk. Getting too much sleep can also raise the risk of heart problems such as stroke, congestive heart failure and heart attack.
Heart Palpitations: Frequently Asked Questions
The symptoms of palpitations vary from patient to patient with some common features.
A perception of irregularity of the pulse, an uneasiness in the chest, a flip-flopping in the chest frequently people describe their palpitations as “my heart stops.” Certainly a feeling of strong pulse throughout the chest, head, and neck could well be described as a palpitation.
Occasionally palpitations can be perceived in unusual ways including a general sense of uneasiness, and, rarely, palpitations are associated with lightheadedness or even loss of consciousness.
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I Sleep And The Heart
The process of sleep is made up of the following two primary stages:
When you first fall asleep you are in the non-REM stage. The non-REM stage of sleep is a time when your heart does not have to work so hard. About 80% of a full night’s sleep is spent in this stage. During non-REM sleep, your heart rate, breathing and blood pressure all drop to levels below those that occur while you are awake.
REM is the stage of sleep when you have most of your dreams. It is only about 20% of your total sleep time. Your blood pressure and heart rate can go up and down during this stage. If you have a nightmare that wakes you up, you may find that your heart is racing.
When you wake up in the morning, your blood pressure and heart rate both go back up. It is time for you to be active again, and your heart has to get ready for a long day of work.
How To Improve Your Sleep Habits
Do you suffer for a lack of restful sleep? If so, there several things you can do to improve your situation.
- Exercise: Try getting adequate exercise.
- Avoid excess caffeine: Avoid excess stimulants, such as caffeine, particularly before bed as they may keep you awake.
- Establish an evening routine:Have an evening routine of preparing for bed that includes turning off electronic devices and having soothing activities such as a hot shower or bath, recommends Lundberg.Drinking chamomile or herbal sleepy-time tea can also be helpful, as can reading, praying or meditating.
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
Causes Of Nighttime Spikes
Kario told Healthline that blood pressure rises naturally to excrete excess sodium from the kidneys, particularly among people with high sensitivity to salt intake.
Usually, high daytime blood pressure is enough to excrete the sodium, he said. However, in the subjects with increased circulating blood volume , blood pressure needs to increase not only during daytime but also nighttime to excrete the sodium from the body. This is the compensated mechanism, but its harmful to the heart.
Dr. Raymond Townsend, a medical expert with the American Heart Association and director of the Hypertension Program at University of Pennsylvania, told Healthline that ideally all blood pressure measurements would be taken at night, not during the day.
When youre asleep at night, its the purest time for blood pressure, he said. Its a window into how that persons system is working.
Townsend, who has administered thousands of nighttime blood pressure tests, said theres potential for using consumer devices for at-home blood pressure monitoring.
A device called the WatchBP Home from Microlife, for example, can provide up to three nocturnal blood pressure results per night.
Sleep Deprivation And High Blood Pressure
Sleep deprivation and high blood pressure: a link you dont want to ignore
The average adult needs at least seven hours of sleep, yet statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that anywhere from 28 to 44% of adults in the United States regularly get less. Unfortunately, the less sleep you get, the greater your risk of developing high blood pressure.
What does sleep have to do with high blood pressure?
Your blood pressure directly responds to sleep loss along with a whole host of negative side effects. A 2010 study conducted amongst 538 middle-aged adults found that sleep deprivation was a reliable predictor of increased blood pressure levels. The results remained consistent even after being adjusted for age, race, sex, and presence of high blood pressure medication. In these cases, both shortened sleep duration and poor sleep quality contributed to the increase in blood pressure readings.
In part, sleep deprivations effects on the mental and emotional state shed light onto the forces at work. Without enough sleep, the brain becomes more sensitive to negative thoughts and feelings, which causes an increase in stress hormones like cortisol that naturally cause a rise in blood pressure.
What are the most common causes of sleep deprivation?
Theres no single cause of sleep deprivation and usually, there are a number of interacting factors, but some of the most prevalent include:
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