Insufficient Sleep Makes an Unhealthy Heart

Insufficient sleep can leave you feeling grumpy and agitated and will ruin your mood for the rest of the day.

Over a longer period of time, sleep deprivation can lead to serious health issues like obesity, diabetes, slower metabolism and inflammation.

A prolonged lack of sleep acts as a catalyst in disrupting basic health conditions which has detrimental effects on your health.

Shortage of sleep in the long run can shorten life expectancy too. Studies show that people who get a good night’s sleep live longer than those who don’t.

This further strengthens the argument in favor of getting the required amount of sleep every day.

In fact, physicians might even just recommend a good nights’ sleep to resolve and prevent possible health issues.

Optimal Sleep

According to a study by Harvard Med, the optimal sleep required differs for everyone, depending on their age and genetics. But on an average 6-8 hours of sleep in a day are optimal for the body to function at its best. Less than 6 hours of sleep increases the risk of heart disease.

When the body is resting, different enzymes and chemicals are activated, which calm it down from the intense activity that it undertook throughout the day. During this rest, the blood pressure and heart rate drop, and the body start rejuvenating.

Insufficient Sleep and Your Heart

Less than 6 hours of sleep prevents the heart rate from dropping and keeps it elevated for a prolonged period. This lack of variability means the hearts’ work remains the same, causing hypertension.

The further validation comes from studies about sleep apnea. It’s a condition which causes troubled breathing which wakes people frequently and disrupts their sleep cycle, causing sleep deprivation and fatigue.

According to the American Heart Association, sleep apnea is a contributor to increased risk of elevated blood pressure, arrhythmia, stroke and congestive heart failure.

Lack of sleep also disrupts metabolism, creating an imbalance in blood sugar levels, in turn, heightening the risk for diabetes. Shorter sleep cycles hinder the production of hormones which function to decrease appetite, triggering an increased consumption of calories. This increases the chance of high cholesterol and obesity which are known causes of multiple heart diseases.

How Can You Sleep Better?

According to the CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention), 1 in 3 adults suffer from sleep deprivation; leading cause being a more hectic and busy lifestyle.

There are many ways which can help in getting a good night’s sleep, and some of them are;

  1. Exercise This tires out the body, improves the chemical balances and allows for more restful sleep.
  2. Lower the intake of alcohol and caffeine-laden beverages in the evening.
  3. Avoid a heavy, rich meal right before you go to sleep.
  4. And establish a fixed routine right before you sleep to trigger easy sleeping in future.

The most important tip is to get checked by a physician to make sure you have no underlying conditions that are causing the improper sleep cycle.

Not having sufficient sleep and rest in one day can have an adverse impact on not only the heart but overall physical and mental health. Recognizing and solving issues regarding your sleep early can save you distress later.

Drinking One Beer a Day may Reduce the Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke

Consuming a glass of beer a day may prevent future cardiovascular events, according to a new research.

Researchers said average liquor consumption slows down the body’s natural loss of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). HDL cholesterol levels, commonly referred to as a good form of cholesterol, eliminates dangerous cholesterol from the body and decreases a person’s cardiovascular illness risk.

A research on over 80,000 Asian adults has revealed appealing results on this theory, but physicians have cautioned people that more research is needed before any concrete assumptions can be made.

So to be on the safer side, don’t start drinking a glass of beer every day just yet.

Pennsylvania State University scholars came up with the theory that men who consumed one to two alcohol-based drinks per day had a slow depletion in good cholesterol levels (HDL), in comparison to those who didn’t consume.

The Same rule applied to women who consume a little quantity of alcohol daily, according to The Telegraph.

While the outcomes were pretty analogous regardless of whether the research’s individuals consumed beer or spirits,but scientists did observe that beer and not spirits had the biggest and more beneficial effect.

In reaction to the research’s results, Dr Nitin Shori, director at the Pharmacy2U online physician service, said: “While undetermined, this research seems to point out that there may be some health advantages in consuming little alcohol when it comes to lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases or stroke. But further research is required before any concrete results can be attracted.”

Alcohol is one of the biggest risks associated with the style of living that leads to illness and loss of life, after obesity and smoking.The newest NHS guidance is that there is a safe level of liquor intake and neither women nor men should consume more than 14 units (1 unit=15 ml) of liquor weekly.

Dr Webberley Sally, the devoted GP for Oxford Online Drugstore, said: “There are so many inconsistent research results being released daily and with that, it is difficult to tell which health advice is misleading and which is not”

We do know that booze is bad for the liver to function properly and it aids to obesity, it can adversely affect sleep and psychological wellness, it has been connected to cancer along with lots of other illnesses such as cirrhosis and hepatitis.

Contrarily, other research results recommend that average booze can have some health advantages and there’s no question that a lot of people like to use such justifications to warrant their activities when reaching for a glass.

“The key is in the moderation message. Because too much consumption of liquor can certainly have a detrimental effect on the well-being of a person.”

How to Recover from a Heart Attack

Okay, so you have survived a heart attack. I am truly happy for you. However, for going forward you need to follow some guidelines that will help you to avoid the next episode. By following specific lifestyle and diet suggestions, you will reduce the chance of another heart attack by enhancing your overall health and well-being.

Recovering from a heart attack can take several months, and it’s very important not to rush your rehabilitation.During your recovery period, you’ll receive help and support from a range of healthcare professionals like Consultant Cardiologist, nurses, physical therapists, dietitians and exercise specialists. These healthcare professionals will support you physically and mentally to ensure that your recovery is conducted in a safe manner.

The most important parts of the recovery process are as follows:

Cardiac rehabilitation

Your cardiac rehabilitation program will begin while you’re still in the hospital.  A member of your cardiac rehabilitation team should visit you in the hospital and provide detailed information about your state of health and how the heart attack may have affected it; the type of treatment you received; what medications you’ll need ;when you leave the hospital; what specific risk factors  have contributed to your heart attack; and what lifestyle changes you can make to address those risk factors.

Exercise

Once you return home, it’s usually recommended that you rest and only do light activities, such as walking up and down the stairs a few times a day or taking a short walk. You can gradually increase the amount of activity you do each day over several weeks.

Your rehabilitation program should contain different exercises, depending on your age and ability.

Returning to work

Every person can return to work after a heart attack, but how quickly will depend on your health, the state of your heart and the kind of work you do. If your job involves light duties you may be able to return to work in as little as two weeks. However, if your job involves heavy manual work or your heart is extensively damaged, then it may take several months before you can resume your duties.

Driving

You may be able to drive after one week. However, you should be cleared by your doctor in case there are other conditions or complications that would disqualify you from driving.

Depression

Having a heart attack can be frightening and traumatic, and it’s common to have feelings of anxiety afterward. For many people, the emotional stress can cause them to feel depressed and tearful for the first few weeks after returning home. If feelings of depression persist, speak to your doctor, because you may have a more serious form of depression. It’s important to seek advice because serious types of depression often don’t get better without treatment.

Diet

It’s recommended that you eat two to four portions of oily fish a week. Oily fish contain a type of fatty acid known as omega-3, which can help to lower your cholesterol levels.

Good sources of omega-3 include :

Herring

Sardines

Mackerel

Salmon

Trout

Tuna

It’s also recommended that you eat a Mediterranean-style diet. This means eating more fruit, vegetables and fish,but less meat. Replace butter and cheese with products based on vegetable and plant oil, such as olive oil.

Smoking

If you smoke, it’s strongly recommended that you quit as soon as possible. If you were a smoker, your doctor may be able to offer suggestions on remaining smoke-free for the rest of your life. Your doctor can also recommend and prescribe medication to help you give up cigarettes.

Alcohol

It is wise to limit your overall alcohol intake to allow your body to get strong and recover well. Eventually, some alcohol in moderation is okay.

Weight management

If you’re overweight or obese, it’s recommended that you lose weight and then maintain a healthy weight by using a combination of exercise and diet.

Regular physical activity

Once you’ve made a sufficient physical recovery from the effects of a heart attack, it’s recommended that you engage in physical activity on a regular basis. The level of activity should be strenuous enough to leave you slightly breathless. Start at a level you feel comfortable with (for example, 5-10 minutes of light exercise a day) and gradually increase the duration and intensity as your fitness improves.

6 Tips for sticking to your Recovery Plan

Take it one step at a time

1—Your Action Plan may include some changes to your lifestyle, from diet to exercise to stress reduction. Don’t feel like that you must tackle it all at once. It’s difficult to change too many things at once. Conquer one thing, then move on to the next.

2—Always talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise routine.

3—Be realistic. 

Set achievable goals. If you need to lose weight, don’t think about losing 50 pounds – focus on the first five. If you’re just starting a workout plan, it’s probably not realistic to think you’ll be running miles in weeks. The key is to find what works for you.

4—Plan-ahead.

A heart-healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. You can – and should – go out to dinners, attend parties, and take vacations. Just do a little planning ahead. Technology has made it easier than ever. Food Tripping and Map My Walk are two apps that can help.

5—Build a support system.

Don’t feel like you must do it alone. Build a support system of friends, family, and co-workers – they can help you keep going.Of course one of the most important supporters is your Heart Specialist. Be sure to get regular checkups and ask questions. There are also online support groups as well as local support groups. Take advantage of them.

6—Make new (healthy) habits.

Ever wonder why it’s easier to stick to bad habits than good ones? Unhealthy habits normally give you instant gratification. But you pay for it later. Healthy habits, on the other hand, may take longer to pay off – but the rewards are bigger and better.

Getting help

Everyone who experiences a heart attack faces challenges. Any guidance or advice you receive should be tailored to your specific needs.

Take care of your heart—and your heart will take care of you.