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Does It Really Matter if I Don’t Get Enough Quality Sleep?
The answer is a resounding, “Yes!” Researchers are just beginning to uncover how heart disease and sleep are related, but they do know this: blood flow through the heart and brain, electrical activity in the heart, the elasticity of blood vessels and the tendency of blood to clot all vary during a normal night’s sleep. Poor sleep can interfere with the heart and heart disease can interfere with sleep.
Sleeping is something many of us consider to be part of our daily routine. It comes easily to some, but not to others. Studies show that not getting enough sleep can contribute to a long list of chronic health conditions, particularly heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who report not getting enough sleep each year, you may have a sleep disorder. Take our Snore Score now.
Did You Know?
What are sleep disorders?
Sleep disorders are conditions that prevent a person from getting a restful night sleep, causing daytime sleepiness and dysfunction. There are many types of sleep disorders, but the most notable ones are:
- Sleep Apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with sleep apnea can stop breathing during sleep, as many as a hundred times during the night. The most common symptom is loud and chronic snoring. There are two types of sleep apnea, one caused by airway blockage and the other by the brain failing to signal the muscles to breathe properly. One out of three people with high blood pressure has sleep apnea.
- Narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder affecting sleep regulation. People with narcolepsy experience extreme daytime sleepiness and uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep during the day.
- Restless Leg Syndrome. RLS is a sleep disorder that cause tingling, pulling, creeping, or painful sensations in the legs at night. It can be brought on by lying in bed or sitting for long periods of time. RLS typically occurs in the evening, making it difficult to fall asleep.
- Insomnia. People with insomnia have difficulty falling or staying asleep. They may wake up too early in the morning or may not get a restful night’s sleep. They may also have one daytime symptom, such as fatigue, mood or concentration problems, or accidents while driving.