February is American Heart Month!

According to The Mayo Clinic, Heart Disease describes a range of conditions that affect your heart. The types of ailments under the umbrella of Heart Disease can include coronary artery disease, arrhythmia and congenital heart defects.

Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Symptoms vary for everyone and can include chest pain, shortness of breath, pain in your neck and jaw, and many others.

Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is imperative for your overall heart health. If you don’t enough sleep, your body won’t function normally. SleepFoundation.org further states that heart health isn’t just a concern for older adults. Studies have shown that adolescents who do not sleep well are at a greater risk of heart problems. This group of adolescents had higher cholesterol levels, larger waist sizes and higher blood pressure. Sleep is essential, no matter what age you are.

How To Protect Yourself

Jose Ordovas, an investigator at the National Center for Cardiovascular Research in Madrid, Spain, stated in a recent WebMD article that there are many ways to fight heart disease. Some methods include different medications or going on a diet, but he emphasizes that we need to add sleep as one of the weapons we use to fight heart disease.

People with good sleep hygiene have the energy to be physically active, make healthy food choices and handle stress in a healthier way. People with poor sleep hygiene feel lazy, eat unhealthy food, and make poor choices – which all affect heart health.

You should make sure to maintain at least six to eight hours of sleep per night and should create a solid bedtime routine to help with this. If you find yourself not getting a good sleep at night or you’re waking up still feeling tired, try to keep a sleep diary. Track the foods you eat for dinner, the temperature at which you keep your bedroom, and if you workout close to bedtime. All of these choices could impact your body and the type of sleep you’re going to get. Share this sleep diary with your healthcare provider to see if they can help get to the bottom of what’s going on. It’s so important to keep your heart and the rest of your body happy and healthy!

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