Mellanie discusses the connection between sleep and heart health.
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Sleep is probably the most unknown and underrated issue related to heart health. Most women don’t get enough sleep. We are trying to do so many things. We have so many balls in the air that we are just not getting the sleep we need. Sleep – lack of sleep can cause our blood pressure to elevate; can affect our immune system; can allow inflammation to flourish in the body. And getting sleep is important for allowing the body to recover and eliminate inflammation from the body. And inflammation, we now know, is a major risk for heart disease. We are also learning it’s a major risk for atrial fibrillation. So getting enough sleep is so important that studies have shown that getting five or fewer hours’ sleep just two nights a week, can triple your risk of a heart attack. We have seen, and that was research that came out two or three years ago. We have more recently even seen research that says that it happens when you get less than seven hours of sleep. So 7 to 9 hour’s sleep is extremely important. Getting too much sleep can also be a problem. So 7 to 9 hours of sleep is critical for a woman’s heart health. Not getting enough sleep allows the inflammation to flourish. It breaks down the immune system. It causes all kinds of issues and if you are not getting restful sleep you may be in bed for eight hours but you may only be getting three hours of sleep. So if you are having snoring, if you are waking up during the night many, many times, if you are experiencing things such as waking up and your heart feels like its racing, you could potentially have sleep apnea and so for that, good sleep, restful sleep is extremely important for women especially for their heart health.