February 21, 2012

3 Reasons Sleep is Good for Your Heart

February is American Heart Month. Which is as good of a reason as any to pay special attention to this vital organ.

There’s no denying that heart health is important. But did you know that getting a good night’s sleep can actually be good for your heart?

Here are three ways getting a good night’s sleep can help improve your heart health.

  1. It helps prevent heart attacks and strokes
    Researchers at the University of Chicago reported in the Journal of American Medical Association that too little sleep is linked to increased calcium buildup in arteries, which can lead to plaques that can break apart and cause heart attacks and strokes.
  2. It helps prevent heart disease
    Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Research from the Harvard Medical School suggests that poor sleep can actually contribute to heart disease. In other words, a good night’s sleep is one step towards preventing heart disease.
  3. It can help moderate stress and weight
    Weight and stress have both been linked to heart disease.  Being 20% overweight or more significantly increases your risk for developing heart disease and studies have shownthat coronary heart disease is more common in individuals subjected to chronic stress.

    Similarly, sleep is also linked to both weight and stress. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation increases levels of a hunger hormone, which can lead to overeating and weight gain. So getting enough sleep could actually help monitor weight. In addition, getting enough sleep at night can help moderate stress. Though stressors can’t necessarily be avoided, sleep can allow our bodies the time they need to work out the effects of stress.

Is sleep a priority in your life? SleepTracker monitors your sleep patterns, allowing you compare how your sleep differs between each night, so that you can make the changes necessary to get a good night’s sleep. Visit our website to learn more.