Why Sleep Matters for Cardiac Health

We’re a chronically sleep-deprived nation. The National Sleep Foundation recommends an average of 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day for adults, but most Americans average less than that. The average is around 6.8 hours per day, according to a Gallup poll. About 40 percent of Americans get less than 7 hours of sleep daily, and that average has dropped more than an hour since 1942.

Though there are outliers, most people could stand to get more sleep. And though we don’t know all the details of why, it’s clear that there’s a link between sleep and cardiac health.

Why sleep matters

Sleep disorders, particularly sleep apnea are major contributors to cardiac problems. Hypertension, stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure and liver failure are all linked to sleep disorders in some way.

During sleep, the body has extended periods in which heart rate and blood pressure drop. The body can’t do this when it lacks adequate sleep. This may not cause much of a difference over the short term, but it takes a toll over the long term, much like ignoring oil changes on a car or truck. The down time the body has during sleep is used to rest, repair, and create hormones that help the body function at its best.

Too little sleep has been linked to a host of health problems that affect not just the heart, but the whole body. Diabetes worsens. Waistlines increase. Cholesterol goes up.

Specialized care for sleep disorders and cardiac health

Here at OHH we want to keep your heart as healthy as possible for the long term. That means taking care of your sleep, too. The Oklahoma Heart Hospital Sleep Center evaluates, diagnoses, and treats sleep problems that can put unnecessary strain on your heart.

Sleep tests like the split night study, CPAP titration, polysomnogram and multiple sleep latency test are all designed to show signs of disorders like sleep apnea and narcolepsy. 

The OHH Sleep Center is fully accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. We strive to provide the best possible sleep-centered care for any at-risk patient. If you think you might be dealing with a sleep disorder, don’t wait to get it diagnosed. Talk to Oklahoma Heart Hospital today and schedule an appointment with our sleep center. We’ll check for any issues, offer treatment options, and help you get back to a normal healthy life before sleep deprivation can take its toll.

Sleep Medicine