Tag: Body Health and Sleep

How a Good Night’s Rest Helps Your Heart

How a Good Night’s Rest Helps Your Heart

happy woman waking up from a restful night sleepYour heart is working hard to keep your tissues oxygenated and your blood moving through your body. However, if you’re not getting quality rest or are suffering from sleep-related conditions that limit that healthy movement of blood, you may be putting your heart at risk.

Cortisol, Stress, and Poor Sleep

Even if you’re not under a great deal of emotional stress, you may actually be boosting your stress hormone, cortisol, when you have poor sleep habits. If you’re up too late studying and getting up early to work, you may be able to maintain these activities for a short time but over the long term, you may be making yourself sick.

Cortisol and Fat Storage

High levels of cortisol cause people to gain weight in the upper body. Storing fat in this part of the body is an indicator of a higher risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. When your blood pressure is high, your blood vessels resist, rather than assist, your heart as it works to send blood around your body. In addition, all the organs in which the heart carries in nutrients and carries away toxins, such as the liver and kidneys, are at greater risk for damage caused by high blood pressure. Your heart has to work harder for the same results.

Snoring, Sleep and Health

While snoring may seem minor, it limits the air your body can take in while you sleep. This means that your blood, which needs oxygen, is starving. In addition, your heart has to work much harder to move around the nutrients it does have as you rasp and snort. If you notice that you wake up gasping, wake yourself up snoring or have a raspy throat in the morning, your snoring may be impacting your heart’s ability to do a great job.

Obesity and Diabetes

As your stress levels go up and you gain weight around your tummy, it will be harder to shed. In fact, it may stress you out and cause you to produce even more cortisol. Getting into a routine that respects both sleep and health is critical if you hope to manage stress, build physical strength and get a handle on your weight. By engaging in poor sleep habits, thus raising your cortisol level, letting your tummy build up and putting yourself at greater risk of diabetes, you are voluntarily placing yourself in the way of terrible harm.

Conclusion: Sleep Helps the Wellbeing of Your Heart!

Some of us have to fight to get the sleep we need. Work up a program of great sleep hygiene, such as no electronics an hour before bed and monitoring your caffeine intake, you can protect yourself against a host of preventable health challenges.

For more health information, check out how sleep apnea can raise blood pressure (hypertension)!

What is Sleep Deprivation?

What is Sleep Deprivation?

Sleep Deprivation


Sleep is one of those activities in life that everyone has in common. All beings – humans and non-humans – need sleep. While most people think they know what sleep is and why it is important, people today report they routinely don’t get enough of it.

Interestingly, sleep researchers are just now really starting to uncover exactly what sleep is and why we need it – a field of study that is now termed the “science of sleep.”

Sleep deprivation, of course, is the term used to describe not getting sufficient sleep, whether it is just for a single night or the deprivation is chronic. This article takes a closer look at what sleep deprivation is, how it affects us and why it is so important to correct sleep deprivation quickly.

What Is Sleep, Exactly?

According to Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep Medicine, sleep is characterized by measurable changes in brain waves, heart rate, breath, temperature in the body and similar traits.

There are also different stages of sleep, with REM and non-REM being the major ones that are broken down into sub-categories. These stages are each important for different reasons and each stage is needed in order for nightly sleep to be fully beneficial.

How to Know You Have Slept

Most people are predisposed to trust their own self-reports of personal sleep habits. Yet, actually, it can be surprisingly difficult to pinpoint reasons for not feeling rested in the morning – after all, you were supposedly asleep at the time the problems were occurring!

For this purpose, researchers and sleep experts turn to the sleep study to find out exactly what is going wrong. In a sleep lab, your sleep is monitored to better understand issues with falling asleep, staying asleep, falling back asleep and waking.

Undergoing a sleep study can be particularly important if you feel like you are chronically sleep-deprived but you feel like you are sleeping.

What Is Sleep Deprivation?

At its most fundamental, sleep deprivation is being deprived of (i.e. not able to or allowed to) sleep. When you are not able to get to sleep or to get as much sleep as you need, various symptoms can arise to signal it is time to seek help.

Common Sleep Deprivation Effects

Symptoms of sleep deprivation can vary from mild to severe. The most commonly reported symptom of sleep deprivation is feeling sleepy or mentally groggy during the day.

Many people also experience changes in mood, hunger levels, mental focus, memory issues, physical pain and issues with drowsiness behind the wheel. Some patients can experience disorientation, panic or even hallucinations associated with being chronically deprived of sleep.

Here, it is important to understand that some sleep deprivation effects after just one night can potentially be fatal. The impairment your body and brain experiences when sleep deprived can rob you of higher executive brain functions that control judgment, planning and reaction times and put your heart under stress.

Thank you for reading! We think it’s fun to explore both sides of things to help us learn what best fits us. So if you’d like, check out an article about what happens when we sleep too much here!