Next Steps To See If Sleep Apnea Is Impacting Your Blood Pressure
If you suffer from hypertension but arent sure if sleep apnea or another sleep disorder is a contributing cause, getting an evaluation to rule it out is important. Reach out to your doctor or a sleep expert to set up a sleep study and to explore your treatment options. The solution could simply be a consultation away.
If youre unsure if your sleep-disordered breathing is caused by sleep apnea, check out our sleep quiz. If youre ready to discover how a sleep specialist can help you, contact Sleep Centers of Middle Tennessee today to find out if sleep apnea is affecting your blood pressure.
With obstructive sleep apnea and high blood pressure having such a strong connection, a simple and free 10 minute sleep test evaluation may be the best thing you can do for your heart.
Sleep and high blood pressure have more in common than you may originally think they affect each other to the point where seeking treatment for one condition may also end up treating another. Proper sleep and caring for your heart not only keep you healthy, but they keep each other healthy too!
Sleep And Heart Health During Pregnancy
Pregnancy places additional strain on the heart and some women develop cardiovascular problems during pregnancy. High blood pressure, for example, can begin or worsen during pregnancy with potential complications for both the mother and her baby.
Insomnia, sleep apnea, and other sleep difficulties affect many pregnant women, and these issues have been associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular problems both during and after pregnancy. Ongoing research studies are working to identify ways to improve sleep during pregnancy with the goal of also reducing hypertension and other cardiovascular issues.
How To Reduce High Blood Pressure By Fasting
Unfortunately, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular health issues are very common, with many adults suffering the adverse effects of diabetes, elevated blood pressure, and other inflammations.
Research shows that one of the ways to treat such health problems is through significant lifestyle and diet changes for the better, such as intermittent fasting.
Thanks to an extensive study, fasting and blood pressure are closely connected. The beneficial effects of fasting on the heart actually do lower blood pressure.
This is caused by an increase in parasympathetic activity in the body and cardiovascular system, paired with positive manipulation of the guts microbiota results that are directly tied to intermittent fasting.
In essence, because the fasting process pushes your body into a state of ketosis and enhances the entire metabolic nervous system, cellular function is heightened and lowers both oxidative stress and blood pressure levels, as your heart can pump blood easier.
Plus, as you lose more weight and burn fat through a fasting plan, your activity and exercise levels rise, contributing even further to healthy blood pressure levels.
So really, fasting and high blood pressure are directly linked, as one of the best ways to change your lifestyle and body naturally. And you can even turn to fasting to prevent heart disease proactively before it happens!
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What Is The Connection Between Sleep And High Blood Pressure
Sleep is the bodys natural way to process stress hormones known to raise blood pressure. Without enough restful sleep, the hormone levels remain high which leads to inflammation. This, in turn, can cause your blood vessels to narrow and lead to high blood pressure. Most adults require 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep each night. If you are in the habit of skimping on sleep just to get through the week, it may be impacting your blood pressure. Make room for sleep in your daily schedule and avoid the temptation to think you can catch up later when life is less hectic. Making sleep a priority will reduce stress, improve your health and make you better able to tackle daily tasks.
How Sleep Impacts Blood Pressure
High-quality sleep is essential to good health, and thats especially true when it comes to achieving and maintaining healthy blood pressure readings.
A 24-hour hypertension study published in the American Journal of Hypertension discovered a strong link between sleep deprivation and high blood pressure. The study included 36 subjects consisting of 20 men and 16 women. Researchers measured participants blood pressure readings, both on days when the subjects had a full nights sleep consisting of 8 hours of undisturbed rest between 11 pm and 7 am and on sleep-deprived days when participants were only permitted to sleep undisturbed between 3 am and 7 am.
The study authors found that average blood pressure readings and heart rates were notably higher for all participants on sleep-deprivation days. Researchers also revealed that blood pressure and heart rate readings rose significantly in the morning immediately following a sleep-insufficient night, a finding that could explain why heart attacks and strokes are most common in the early morning hours.
Cardiovascular events are also more likely to occur on Mondays than any other day. Many people tend to stay up late on the weekend, which disrupts the bodys sleep schedule and often leads to sleep deprivation on Sunday nights.
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An Afternoon Nap May Lower Your Blood Pressure
THURSDAY, March 7, 2019 — Want a daytime pick-me-up that may also benefit your blood pressure? Take a nap, researchers suggest.
“Midday sleep appears to lower blood pressure levels at the same magnitude as other lifestyle changes,” said Dr. Manolis Kallistratos, a cardiologist at Asklepieion General Hospital in Voula, Greece.
For each hour you nap, systolic blood pressure drops an average of 3 mm Hg, the researchers found. Systolic pressure — the top number in a blood pressure reading — is the force of your blood pushing against your arteries when your heart beats. Diastolic pressure — the bottom number — is the force between heart beats.
Taking a low-dose blood pressure drug, for example, can lower your level an average of 5 to 7 mm Hg, while a nap can reduce overall blood pressure an average of 5 mm Hg, the study authors said.
“These findings are important because a drop in blood pressure as small as 2 mm Hg can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack by up to 10 percent,” Kallistratos said.
For the study, the investigators collected data on 212 people, average age 62, whose systolic pressure averaged about 130 mm Hg. About one-quarter of the participants smoked and/or had type 2 diabetes.
Overall, people who napped had more favorable readings than those who didn’t , the researchers reported.
Sleep Disorders And Heart Health
Many sleep disorders have detrimental effects on heart health. Insomnia, one of the most common sleep disorders, is often accompanied by insufficient sleep and can lead to elevated cardiovascular health risks.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that is linked to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, stroke, and high blood pressure. People with OSA have lapses in breathing during sleep when their airway gets blocked.
Interrupted breathing from OSA causes fragmented sleep, which is one reason why the condition is tied to multiple cardiovascular problems. In addition, disturbed respiration reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood, which may worsen the impacts of OSA on heart health.
Disorders of abnormal movement during sleep, such as restless leg syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder, have also been linked to heart problems. While the exact explanation is unknown, it may relate to abnormal activation of the cardiovascular system that occurs with these conditions and induces elevated and fluctuating heart rate and blood pressure.
Circadian rhythm sleep disorders, which occur when a persons internal clock is misaligned with day and night, have been associated with cardiovascular problems. For example, people who work night shifts and have to sleep during the day have heightened risks of hypertension, obesity, and diabetes as well as cardiac events like a stroke or heart attack.
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Both Treatment Types Reduced Blood Pressure
Although the majority of the studies focused on CPAP, researchers found that both CPAP and MAD use led to drops in blood pressure among patients. No significant difference in blood pressure decreases appeared for using CPAP versus a MAD.
The study reinforces that effective treatment is going to move those cardiovascular parameters in a positive direction, Thorpy says. It doesnt matter the type of treatment its just the elimination of sleep apnea that will improve cardiovascular health.
Patients using CPAP saw a drop of 2.5 mm/Hg in systolic blood pressure and 2 mm/Hg in diastolic blood pressure . Patients using a MAD experienced a drop of 2.1 mm/Hg in systolic blood pressure and 1.9 mm/Hg in diastolic blood pressure.
Whereas the mainstay in treatment had always been CPAP, this study validates MADs in reduction of blood pressure, says Nicole Weinberg, MD, a cardiologist at the Pacific Heart Institute in Santa Monica, California, who was not involved in the study. This association had always been less clear or inconclusive in previous meta-analyses, she adds about MAD use.
In addition, each additional hour that patients used CPAP on average during sleep resulted in an extra 1.5 mm/Hg lower systolic blood pressure, and another 0.9 mm/Hg lower diastolic blood pressure.
The Link Between Sleeping Disorders And Heart Disease
Perhaps unsurprisingly, a growing body of research demonstrates a correlation between many sleeping disorders and cardiovascular health.
- People with common sleeping disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea or insomnia also are far more likely to have heart arrhythmias, plaque buildup, heart failure and coronary artery disease than the general public.
- Evidence is mounting that neurological sleep disorders such as restless leg syndrome, which affects 7% to 10% of Americans, may increase the risk of heart disease, although more research is needed to better understand the connection.
- In most people, blood pressure dips during sleep. However, that doesnt always happen in people with Type 1 narcolepsy. Although more research is needed in this area, some suggest that this may increase the risk for heart problems.
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Tips To Safeguard Your Health
While its important to always consult with a licensed medical professional when seeking medical advice, there are a number of simple strategies you can follow to help keep your blood pressure in check, including ones that involve sleep.
- Have your blood pressure reviewed on a regular basis
- Stick to a regular sleep routine, even on the weekends
- Eat a healthy, low-sodium diet
- Refrain from using tobacco products
- If you choose to consume alcohol, do so in moderation
- Plan ahead for daylight savings time by slowly adjusting your sleep schedule the week before the time change
- Seek treatment for conditions that can negatively impact your sleep, such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome
Getting a good nights rest is one of the most important things you can do for your health and wellness, and it also may be one way to help improve your blood pressure readings.
How Long Should You Fast Before Seeing Positive Results
One of the most common questions about intermittent fasting is the time frame involved with the results.
And this is particularly true if you want to start your fasting journey with the goal of lowering your blood pressure, as having even an estimated interval can be beneficial.
While fasting results do depend largely on factors like the type of fasting/feeding schedule you follow and your activity level, research has shown a fairly remarkable timeline of the effects of fasting on blood pressure.
Studies reveal that a group of individuals who fasted intermittently for a period of 4 to 21 days showed significant reductions in blood pressure levels, as well as weight and blood sugar levels.
Because of the metabolic switch experienced, the participants bodies went from burning blood glucose for fuel to using ketones to target fat stored within their bodies, a process that happens surprisingly fast.
This change triggered noteworthy changes not only in weight but also in low blood pressure levels, all with fasting periods and eating cycles revolving around 4 to 21-day plans, repeated as-needed.
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How Is Sleep Apnea And High Blood Pressure Related
Patients with untreated sleep apnea are 2.6 times more likely to suffer from heart disease and heart failure than adults who do not suffer from sleep apnea. Through observations, patients with sleep apnea do not experience a drop in blood pressure at night probably because the brain is working harder to keep your body breathing at night. People without sleep apnea do experience a drop in blood pressure at night. This dip is normal because the heart will slow down at night to allow it to recover.
Blood oxygen levels in a healthy body are also supposed to increase at night. When someone is struggling to breathe during the night, their blood oxygen levels do not have the opportunity to decrease at night, thus increasing blood pressure. All of this leads to high blood pressure and, eventually, if left untreated, heart disease.Its important to note there has been a link discovered between hypertension and Obstructive Sleep Apnea. It is less clear if there is a connection between Central Sleep Apnea and hypertension.
How Sleep Apnea And High Blood Pressure Are Connected
Sleep Apnea and high blood pressure are closely related. As blood oxygen declines during the night, as is common for someone who has untreated Sleep Apnea, it has a side effect of raising blood pressure levels. When blood oxygen content is low, the brain sends signals to the blood vessels to tighten as a way of helping improve the flow of blood oxygen1.
Research has shown treating Sleep Apnea, through faithful adherence to using CPAP therapy, can lower blood pressure levels by increasing blood oxygen during sleep. High blood pressure is one of many risks of untreated Sleep Apnea.
This article covers Sleep Apneas link to cardiovascular conditions, as well as Sleep Apnea its link to hypertension. Well provide tips that can help you get better sleep as you continue living with Sleep Apnea.
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What Should I Do If I Have Problems Sleeping
The CDC advises people to:
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, weekends included.
- Sleep in a dark, quiet place set at a comfortable temperature.
- Ban electronic devices from the bedroom. These can interfere with sleep.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and large meals before hitting the pillow.
- Exercise. Physical activity during the day makes it easier to fall asleep that night.
Talk with your doctor or health care professional if you have symptoms of a sleep disorder or have tried such measures and still cant get to sleep.
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
Inadequate Sleep And Hypertension
A number of epidemiologic studies have reported an association between inadequate sleep, in terms of duration and quality, and an increased risk of hypertension. A cross-sectional study among healthy adolescents reported an association between actigraphy-defined low sleep efficiency and prehypertension, after adjusting for known confounding factors .
Furthermore, in a substudy of 578 adults from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study, actigraphy-measured shorter sleep duration and lower sleep maintenance , were noted in a cross-sectional analysis to be associated with significantly higher systolic and diastolic blood pressures, after adjusting for confounders such as age and antihypertensive medications. In a longitudinal analysis of this cohort, shorter average sleep duration also predicted significantly increased odds of incident hypertension over 5 years . In addition, a longitudinal analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of > 4,500 US adults, reported a significantly increased risk of hypertension in individuals sleeping 5 hours per night compared with those sleeping for 7 to 8 hours per night, after adjusting for various potential confounders .
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Positive Effects Of Good Sleep
The positive effects of a good sleep are immediately evident when we wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. Beyond just feeling good, Lundberg explains the solid benefits to our bodies. The positive effect of sleep is not just on your heart health but also on your stress hormones, your immune system, your breathing, and your mental status, she says.
People who get seven to eight hours of sleep have more alertness and better focus. They have less depression and anxiety. Getting a good nights sleep has a positive impact on your metabolism and weight loss benefits.
Sleep Tips For People With Heart Problems
While theres no silver bullet solution, certain tips can often help people with heart problems get better sleep.
- Develop strategies for relaxation: If heart concerns spur anxiety, they can keep your mind racing when you just want to ease into sleep. Techniques like deep breathing, yoga, light stretching, and mindfulness meditation are just a few beneficial approaches for people struggling with how to sleep with pericarditis , heart disease, or other heart problems that cause chest pain.
- Plan a consistent sleep schedule: Keeping the same bedtime and wake-up time every day is widely considered to be one of the key ways to encourage healthy and stable sleep from night to night.
- Design an accommodating bedroom: Set your sleep environment to meet your needs by ensuring that the bedroom has a comfortable mattress and pillow, a pleasant temperature, and as much quiet and darkness as possible.
- Avoid negative influences on sleep: Alcohol and caffeine can both interfere with sleep and are best avoided at night. Excessive use of electronic devices, including your cell phone, can also throw off your sleep patterns, which is why experts recommend not using these devices for an hour or more before bed.
These tips and other elements of sleep hygiene can serve as a foundation for better sleep, creating habits that make it easier to get both the quantity and quality of sleep that you need.
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