Do Your Sleep Habits Help or Hurt Your Heart?
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.