"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Sleep and Mental Health: What's the Connection?

Lack of sleep doesn't just make you are feeling grumpy and grumpy the subsequent day. Over time, insufficient sleep can harm your cardiovascular health. The evidence is so compelling that the American Heart Association (AHA) included healthy sleep duration in its “Essential 8 of Life” recommendations for reducing the danger of heart attack and stroke.

“Even if you're getting at least seven hours of sleep, sleep disruptions can prevent you from getting enough deep sleep and can lead to unhealthy high blood pressure,” says Dr. Redline. According to an AHA scientific statement published within the March 2024 issue of the journal, these problems can increase the danger of mental illness and cognitive problems. A stroke. Cerebrovascular diseases include conditions that affect the blood vessels of the brain, including “silent” strokes, which go undetected.

What is sabotaging your sleep?

These disorders can affect not only the duration but additionally the depth and continuity of sleep.

Insomnia Refers to the lack to fall or sleep, often related to stress or anxiety. Other potential sleep disruptors include painful medical conditions. caffeine or alcohol consumption; and environmental aspects resembling light, noise, an uncomfortable bed, or a room that is simply too hot or cold.

Obstructive sleep apnea A narrowing of the throat during sleep is marked by frequent pauses in respiration, which might result in decreased oxygen levels and multiple awakenings throughout the night.

Persistent limb movement disorders. Characterized by involuntary jerking or twitching of the legs during sleep.

Why is deep sleep necessary?

During the night, people undergo different stages of sleep, spending a few quarter of their time in deep (slow-wave) sleep — a stage that's vital for restoring energy and supporting memory, Dr. Redline said. who participate. Authored the AHA statement. Blood pressure and heart rate are at their lowest during deep sleep. Meanwhile, the brain's housekeeping system — a series of channels called the glymphatic system, which drains cerebrospinal fluid — flushes out toxins, including beta-amyloid and other proteins linked to Alzheimer's disease.

When people don't get enough deep sleep, blood pressure may not drop in addition to it should. It can stimulate activity within the cells of the blood vessel partitions and activate harmful inflammation. The glymphatic system, which depends upon healthy blood vessels within the brain, might be damaged.

Failed by fragmented sleep?

Brief awakenings through the night, especially those attributable to sleep deprivation, may cause a rise within the hormone epinephrine and lift blood pressure, an issue often called nocturnal hypertension. . “This elevation of blood pressure can put people at risk for mental health problems,” says Dr. Redline. Small blood vessels deep within the brain might be damaged by tiny clots or microbleeds, causing so-called silent strokes, which cause no noticeable symptoms. But a series of such strokes over time can result in a condition called multi-infarct dementia.

what are you able to do

If you don’t feel rested and refreshed within the morning despite getting at the least seven hours of sleep, you could have a sleep problem. Dr. Redline advises talking to your doctor to assist discover and resolve the issue. If your bed partner or member of the family says you snore loudly, see “Should you be tested for sleep apnea?” In May 2023 Heart Letter.

Even in the event you don't think you have got insomnia, chances are you’ll be experiencing frequent, temporary awakenings without noticing them. Wearable devices (monitors worn on the wrist or finger) feature apps that measure sleep performance. Dr. Redline says the info can provide clues about limb movements during temporary periods of wakefulness in addition to sleep.

Try to follow all these steps within the essential 8 of life, that are closely related. “Think of sleep as an important habit that helps reinforce all the other healthy habits,” says Dr. Redline.

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