Why the American Heart Association now lists sleep as a measure of heart health
Blood pressure, body weight, cholesterol and blood glucose are some of the numbers that measure heart health. The American Heart Association has added sleep to that list. Why? Because research about how sleep effects those numbers keeps emerging. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams talks to a Mayo Clinic cardiologist and sleep expert about why sleep is vital to your heart health.
ROCHESTER — In June, the American Heart Associated added sleep to its list of numbers that measure and are vital to heart health. The organization's "Life's Essential 8" includes diet, physical activity, nicotine exposure, weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and sleep.
Why is sleep important for heart health? Dr. Virend Somers , a Mayo Clinic cardiologist and director of the Sleep Facility within Mayo Clinic's Center for Clinical and Translational Science, says sleep plays a major role in heart health because it can affect all of the other heart health numbers.
"There's a growing body of evidence that shows sleep is really important for maintaining cardiovascular health," Somers says. "Obesity, diet, blood glucose. All of those things are affected by sleep."
If you don't get adequate sleep, Somers say that unhealthy things may happen. For example, you may gain weight and your blood pressure may rise, increasing your risk of cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack and stroke.
Watch or listen to Somers explain sleep's connection to heart health and why you should strive to get proper shut eye.
For more stories about sleep and your health, click on the links below.
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