How many hours of sleep does your heart need for low cardiovascular risk?

Regular sleep is not optional – it’s essential for a healthy heart and life. However, it is an aspect of our health very often ignored even by doctors.

Recent studies show the connection between irregular sleep and increased cardiovascular risk – find out below how the two are linked, how many hours of sleep you need and what steps you can take to get a restful night’s sleep.

How many hours of sleep do we need?

For a good quality, restful sleep, an adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Irregular sleep can be said to occur when the number of hours slept varies greatly from day to day over a long period of time.

What are the effects of sleep deprivation?

Sleep deprivation occurs when the hours slept each night are less than 7-8 hours. This lack of sleep can occur when we have an irregular sleep schedule (e.g. we go to bed late and wake up early), but also when we experience insomnia or wake up often during the night.

Lack of sleep can be experienced during the day as excessive fatigue, memory or concentration problems or even depression. In the long term, lack of sleep can lead to more serious health problems, such as:

Obesity

Studies show that lack of sleep can lead to changes in metabolism that can increase the risk of obesity. Especially in children and adolescents, sleep deprivation is a predictor of overweight and obesity. At the moment, it is thought that lack of sleep during brain development may affect the function of the hypothalamus, which helps regulate appetite.

An adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep a day to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease

Type 2 diabetes

Lack of sleep can even increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Studies show that improving the quality and duration of sleep has a positive effect on the body’s ability to control blood sugar – a key factor in keeping type 2 diabetes under control.

Cardiovascular disease

One condition that can lead to sleep deprivation is apnoea, a medical problem that occurs when the airway becomes blocked during sleep. Many studies show that sleep apnoea is a major predictor of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.

Anxiety and depression

There is even a strong link between lack of sleep and depression or anxiety. A recent study showed that symptoms of depression disappeared in patients who managed to treat their apnoea correctly.

How can you improve the quality of your sleep?

If you are experiencing problems such as insomnia or sleep apnoea, it is advisable to consult a doctor so that you can act early. In the meantime, you can follow these tips to improve the quality and duration of your sleep:

  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule – go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends
  • Make sure you get enough natural light during the day – go for a walk in the morning or at lunchtime
  • Make sure you get enough physical activity during the day, but don’t exercise just before bedtime
  • Avoid using artificial light devices an hour before bedtime
  • Create a comfortable environment – make sure the bedroom is a comfortable temperature, dark and noise-free

With the Dahna health app, you can take care of your heart and live a carefree life. Download the app today to start your journey to a healthy heart!

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