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HomeAnswersPsychiatrysleep deprivationHow does sleep deprivation impact cardiovascular health?

What are the long-term effects of disrupted sleep on the heart?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At June 11, 2024
Reviewed AtJune 11, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello,

Being a 29-year-old male who has been working night shifts for the past two years, I am worried about the potential implications of sleep deprivation and sleep disorders on my heart health. Can prolonged sleep deprivation increase my risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease? How do irregular sleep patterns associated with night shifts impact heart health? Are there any specific precautions or lifestyle changes I should consider to mitigate the risks of heart disease due to sleep deprivation or disorders?

Thank you.

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I can understand your concern.

Thank you for taking help from a psychiatrist. Yes, prolonged sleep deprivation and irregular sleep patterns, especially associated with night shifts, can indeed increase your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease. This is because inadequate or poor-quality sleep can disrupt various physiological processes, such as blood pressure regulation, glucose metabolism, and inflammation, all of which are linked to heart health.

Chronic sleep deprivation has been associated with an increased risk of hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and coronary artery disease. Irregular sleep patterns, such as those experienced with night shifts, can disrupt the body's circadian rhythm, which may further exacerbate these risks. To mitigate the risks of heart disease due to sleep deprivation or disorders, consider the following lifestyle changes and precautions:

  1. Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule: Try to stick to a regular sleep-wake cycle, even on days off, to help regulate your body's internal clock.

  2. Create a Sleep-Conducive Environment: Ensure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool, and invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows to promote better sleep.

  3. Limit Stimulants: Reduce your intake of caffeine and avoid heavy meals, alcohol, and nicotine close to bedtime, as these can disrupt sleep.

  4. Establish a Relaxing Bedtime Routine: Engage in calming activities before bed, such as reading, taking a warm bath, or practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation.

  5. Manage Stress: Find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as exercise, hobbies, or talking to a therapist, as stress can interfere with sleep quality.

  6. Exercise Regularly: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, as regular physical activity can improve sleep quality and overall heart health.

  7. Seek Medical Evaluation: If you suspect you have a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea or insomnia, consult your nearest psychiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Treatment may include lifestyle modifications, therapy, or medication.

  8. Monitor Your Health: Keep track of your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and other relevant health markers regularly, and consult your doctor if you notice any concerning changes.

  9. By prioritizing good sleep hygiene and making healthy lifestyle choices, you can help reduce your risk of heart disease associated with sleep deprivation and irregular sleep patterns.

I hope this information will help you.

Thank you.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Vishal Anilkumar Gandhi
Dr. Vishal Anilkumar Gandhi

Psychiatry

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