Do Your Sleep Habits Help or Hurt Your Heart?


Quality Counts

Montgomery points out that even if you’re in bed for 7 hours, your heart might not get the rest it needs.

Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea -- where your airway gets closed off, causing you to stop breathing several times a night -- lead to stress.  “When that adrenaline pumps 30 or 40 times a night,” Montgomery says, “it can create a lot of trouble.”

If you have sleep problems that don’t go away when you make good sleep habits a priority, talk with your doctor.

Should You Take a Nap?

There’s no substitute for a good night’s sleep, but a nap won’t hurt.  “There’s no evidence that a 20-minute nap is directly helpful for long-term heart health,” Montgomery says. But he points out that naps do refresh your mind, put you in a better mood, and lower your overall stress level.

Remember, many things affect your heart, and sleep is one of the easiest to fix.

WebMD Feature Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on April 27, 2015



American College of Cardiology.

David E. Montgomery, MD, cardiologist, Piedmont Hospital, Atlanta.

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