Irregular sleep puts heart health at risk

Irregular sleep puts heart health at risk. Stay on schedule with a full night’s sleep for your best physical and mental health.

We’ve all experienced the fatigue and lack of clarity associated with a sleepless night, but a study published last year by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology Foundation found that inconsistent sleep schedule is also a risk factor for heart disease.

The cardiovascular system exhibits strong circadian rhythms, biochemical, physiological and behavioral processes that move up and down during the 24 hour day, to maintain normal functioning. Another circadian rhythm is the wake / sleep cycle, and the study found that people with the most irregular sleep duration or timing were more than twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease as people who had them. most regular sleep patterns. Doctors are now more likely to recommend adequate sleep as a preventive heart health measure in addition to physical activity and a healthy diet.

The National Sleep Foundation has identified that at ages 18 to 64, we need seven to nine hours of sleep, and at age 65 or older, we need seven to eight hours of sleep. Children and young people need more hours.

This time is necessary for the body to perform a number of vital functions that support the health of your body and brain. Three main functions are repairing tissue, fighting infections, and processing memories of your day’s experiences.

Greater variability in the length or timing of sleep is associated with higher blood pressure, deregulated blood lipids, and insulin resistance which can lead to diabetes. Not getting enough sleep can affect your body in other ways as well.

• Immune function is compromised because your body produces fewer antibodies, so you are more likely to get sick and the body has fewer resources to prevent disease, including cancer.

• Impulse control and appetite hormones can become imbalanced, leading to overeating and obesity.

• Mental functioning may be less for problem solving, reasoning, organizing, planning and executing plans.

• Learning is affected at all stages – your ability to encode new information, consolidate and absorb information and make new connections, and remember and retrieve information.

Many factors can cause sleep disturbances and sleep deprivation, including stress, sleep apnea, and chronic insomnia. Insomnia is often a symptom of stress or anxiety disorders that can prevent you from relaxing enough to fall asleep and sleep soundly. Your doctor can help you diagnose whether you might benefit from medication or behavior therapy, or whether a more in-depth sleep study is needed.

If you’re concerned about your heart health, quality cardiovascular care is close at hand at Northwest Cardiology – Siloam Springs. To make an appointment, call 479-215-3060. To find a primary care physician near you, visit today.

About the Siloam Springs Regional Hospital

The Siloam Springs Regional Hospital is a 73-bed licensed facility with 42 private patient rooms. It is accredited by the Arkansas State Department of Health Services and the Joint Commission and has been recognized as a four star hospital by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The Siloam Springs Regional Hospital is located at 603 N. Progress Ave. at Siloam Springs. For more information, visit

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