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Unable to get enough sleep at night? 5 tips to get sound sleep for maintaining a healthy heart

The risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) increases with age until a person reaches their 60s and 70s, with men or individuals assigned male at birth being more susceptible.

Written By : India TV Lifestyle Desk Edited By : Kristina Das
New Delhi
Published on: January 08, 2024 19:00 IST
sleeping tips
Image Source : FREEPIK Tips to get sound sleep at night to maintain a healthy heart.

A good night’s sleep is crucial to maintaining a healthy heart. Insufficient or poor-quality sleep has been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. Unfortunately, many people are not getting enough sleep and most people tend to feel sleepy during the day. It is the need of the hour to get a sound sleep of at least 8 hours. But many tend to sleep only for 5-6 hours due to their hectic schedules.  Hence, one should prioritize sleep due to its critical role in maintaining overall health.

This is how sleep apnea takes a toll on the heart. According to Dr Sachin Nalavade, Senior Consultant Physician, Diabetologist & Intensivist, Medicover Hospitals, Navi Mumbai, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a prevalent sleep disorder that poses a significant threat to both sleep and heart health. It occurs when the muscles at the back of the throat relax excessively, leading to airway constriction and causing repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep. OSA can also contribute to pulmonary hypertension—a type of high blood pressure affecting lung arteries and the right side of the heart—and can lead to heart failure. The lack of oxygen impacts every organ in the body, including altering how the heart functions. As both the heart and lungs occupy space within the chest cavity, increased strain on lung function also affects cardiac performance. This physical stress may lead to the thickening of heart muscles and impairing overall cardiac function. One can also experience high blood pressure and high heart rate. Sleep apnea can manifest as excessive daytime fatigue, loud snoring with gasping or choking sounds, morning headaches, dry mouth upon waking, and restless sleep.  Factors such as head and neck anatomy and body weight can also contribute to the risk.

 Here are some suggestions for prioritising sleep:

  1. Preparing for a restful night's sleep begins long before bedtime. Exposure to sunlight during the day helps signal to your body that it's daytime, which in turn boosts the drive for sleep and triggers the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
  2. Avoid caffeine after midday whenever possible since its effects linger in your system long after you've finished an afternoon cup of coffee.
  3. Create a dark and cool environment for sleeping and steering clear of stimulating activities late at night, such as exercise or excessive screen time on electronic devices.
  4. Listen to soft music, take a warm shower, or read before bedtime instead of watching the Television.
  5. Avoid drinking water before sleeping as you will have to make trips to the bathroom and your sleep will be disturbed.

Remember sleep apnea can manifest as excessive daytime fatigue, loud snoring with gasping or choking sounds, morning headaches, dry mouth upon waking, and restless sleep.  Factors such as head and neck anatomy and body weight can also contribute to the risk.

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