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How Does Sleep Affect Your Heart Health For People Over 50?

How Does Sleep Affect Your Heart Health For People Over 50?

Adequate sleep is essential for a healthy heart. Individuals who lack sufficient sleep are at a higher risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease. Therefore, getting a good night’s sleep is vital if you want to lessen your risk for these conditions. Nevertheless, getting adequate sleep is a big challenge for the elderly. As you age, you’re likely to find it difficult falling asleep, and the quality of sleep is lower with progression in age.

Below are some of the effects of sleep on heart health for the elderly:

  1. Sleep duration- prolonged sleep decreases heartbeats

Quality sleep is associated with many benefits for both the young and the aged. However, the length of rest for seniors matters. Along with the many changes that come with age, you also lose the capacity for sleep. Is too much sleep bad for the heart? Experts hold the view that you never need to sleep for long hours as you age.

When you pursue long sleeping, your heart beats decrease to an abnormal rate; the metabolism slows down the activity of blood circulation. Sometimes, your muscles can become loose, and this affects the way you usually walk.

  1. Sleep deprivation results in high blood pressure

sleepAs you age, sleep patterns begin to change, and you’re likely to sleep fewer hours and have more fragmented sleep. Various things can result in a lack of sleep as you age. Some are bad sleep habits, drinking alcohol before bedtime, illnesses, and drugs to cure our ailments, anxiety due to retirement, and many more.

Sleep deprivation is associated with many health effects. People who sleep less than five hours a day are at a greater risk of high blood pressure, and adults over the age of 50 are no exception. Sleep plays a crucial role in aiding your blood to control stress hormones. It also supports your nervous system to stay healthy. Over time, sleep deprivation affects your body’s ability to regulate stress hormones, and this can result in high blood pressure.

One of the significant causes of sleep deprivation is the lack of proper beddings. Ensure that you have a comfortable mattress, pillows, and duvet. If you try all these but still experience interrupted sleep, opt for gravity blankets.

These are types of weighted blankets that provide a better sleeping experience for individuals suffering from anxiety, sleep disorders, or autism. Even if you don’t suffer from such conditions, a weighted blanket enables you to sleep better with limited tossing and turning.

  1. Sleep apnea results in heart problems

Sleep apnea is not rare among the elderly. It’s ironic that older people suffering from sleep apnea mostly have their breathing halt for some minutes many times during sleep. However, for younger individuals with sleep apnea, this happens for only a few seconds.

When the breathing stops, your body fails to get adequate amounts of oxygen. As such, we shouldn’t overlook the effects of sleep on heart health for the elderly. Older people may experience drowsiness during the day due to irregular sleep cycles. And what’s more? There are health dangers, as well. If you suffer from sleep apnea, you are at a higher risk of strokes, lack of sleep heart attack, irregular heartbeats, and high blood pressure.

Take away

There are numerous effects of sleep on heart health for the elderly. Although older people are likely to experience disrupted sleep, it’s crucial to get adequate sleep each day. Therefore, get rid of anything that disrupts your sleep, acquire proper beddings, and choose the best sleeping position for blood circulation.

For children with Autism, sleep can be a special kind of challenge

This article will be of help:  

Weighted Blankets for Autism: Reducing Anxiety and Providing a Good Night’s Sleep

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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