Heart disease and poor sleep seem to go together

01/12/2007 - News

Heart disease and poor sleep seem to go together

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD

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Heart disease and poor sleep seem to go together

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

There is a two-way link between poor sleep and heart disease, say doctors at Harvard Medical School.
Poor sleep has long been linked to problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, say doctors at Harvard Medical School. The link may occur through C-reactive protein (CRP). Elevated levels of CRP are linked to inflammation which is known to play a role in heart disease. Poor sleep increases CRP levels.

But the link between poor sleep and heart disease is a two-way one. For heart disease can actually cause poor sleep. For instance, people with heart failure may wake up with trouble breathing. There is also evidence that heart failure leads to sleep apnea - a disorder in which a person stops breathing temporarily many times in the night and is linked to poor sleep. Atrial fibrillation - a disorder of the heart rhythm - and palpitations are other heart disorders which can disturb sleep. The Harvard experts suggest some simple rules for including sleep - which could improve your heart health. For example, go to bed and get up at the same time every day, use your bed only for sleeping and sex, and go easy on caffeine and alcohol.

Source
Harvard Heart Letter January 2007

Created on: 01/12/2007
Reviewed on: 01/12/2007

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