The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

They warn that poor sleep can harm the heart and brain: 12 tips to rest better


Three specialists explain that there is more and more evidence regarding the impact that poor sleep has on health. Recommendations.

More and more emphasis is placed on the importance of sleeping well.

And it's no coincidence: the evidence on the

impact of sleep on health

is compelling.

The fact that its duration has been incorporated into the Life's Essential 8 guidelines of the American Heart Association (AHA) confirms this trend.

And it is that from being seen as a trait of laziness, good sleep began to occupy the place it deserves: it began to be associated with

quality of life

, disease prevention and risk factor reduction.

It is not only the quantity of sleep that needs to be addressed, but also the quality.

Photo Shutterstock.

The impact of poor sleep

"Sleeping less than 5 hours increases

the risk of dying

from any cause by 26%," warns María Celia Daraio, a neurologist specializing in Sleep Medicine at DIM.

If we talk specifically about the heart and brain, the risk increases: "Sleeping less than 6 hours for

a long time increases

the probability of developing or dying from cardiovascular problems by 48%" and quadruples the risk of suffering a cerebrovascular accident (CVA). .

Along the same lines, from the Hospital de Clínicas de Buenos Aires, they stress the importance of health professionals being attentive to the

parameters linked to sleep


"Patients should be questioned, evaluated and

advised by their doctors

in consultations in the same way as is done with arterial hypertension, blood glucose, cholesterol, diabetes, physical activity, smoking and body weight and diet", highlights a statement from the institution.

Ramiro Heredia, clinical doctor of the hospital that depends on the University of Buenos Aires, highlights: "Different scientific societies place the duration of sleep as an independent

risk factor

for suffering a major cardiovascular event, that is, a myocardial infarction, a cerebrovascular accident or early death, which is one that occurs before the expected age for a population".

As a result, he stresses that poor sleep is already considered as important a risk factor as others to which more attention is usually paid.

An adult's night's sleep should last between 7 and 9 hours.

Photo Shutterstock.

health and rest

Cardiovascular disease is the

leading cause of death

in the world, and more than 80% of cardiovascular events could be prevented through the adoption of a healthy lifestyle, and proper management of various cardiovascular risk factors, including , the dream;

stand out from the Clinics.

Cardiologist Mario Boskis, a member of the Argentine Society of Cardiology (SAC), believes that since the inclusion of sleep hygiene in the AHA's 8 essential guidelines for good cardiovascular health has contributed to "making visible in public opinion the importance of good sleep".

To graph the "

direct relationship

 that exists between a few hours of sleep and a greater possibility of developing cardiovascular disease", the cardiologist mentions that "several observational studies have found that not getting to sleep between 7 and 9 hours a night increases the risk of myocardial infarction and enhances the negative impact of traditional risk factors such as hypertension, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

This risk also grows because, as Daraio points out, when sleeping the heart rate drops, so the heart works with less intensity and with higher quality blood.

"This is how


lost during the day is replaced."

Sleeping less than 6 hours increases the probability of developing or dying from cardiovascular problems by 48%.

Photo Shutterstock.

how much we should sleep

"In a recent study, a group of researchers, after analyzing more than 500 thousand individuals (with surveys about how they slept, mental health questionnaires, cognitive tests and brain MRIs), came to the conclusion that a healthy adult should sleep at least 7 hours a day to have better mental health, less incidence of psychiatric disorders and less

decline in cognition"

, comments Heredia.

And it is that the impact on brain functions is not in doubt either.

To what has already been mentioned, Daraio adds that sleeping poorly "generates irritability, cognitive deterioration, memory lapses or loss, impaired moral judgment, hallucinations and symptoms similar to attention deficit disorder."

On the contrary, sleeping more than 7 hours was associated in the study mentioned by Heredia with a decrease in the incidence of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, overweight, obesity and early death.

Poor sleep "generates irritability, cognitive impairment, lapses or memory loss." Photo Shutterstock.

Quantity is not the only thing that matters

However, the number of hours is related to the

characteristics of each person.

"If someone sleeps 8 hours, and after that they don't feel rested, refreshed or fulfilled, they probably need more sleep. There is no magic number. It is said that we should sleep at least 1/3 of our lives. In general, for a healthy adult, around 8 hours is recommended," he adds.

Daraio agrees that the ideal for an adult is a break of between 7 and 9 hours.

In any case, as Heredia warns, not only the number of hours of sleep is important, but also

the quality


"A good measure of how good our night's rest is is how

tired or drowsy

a person is during the day. If after a night's rest, despite having slept an adequate number of hours, they wake up dull, exhausted, without energy, with headache and disturbances in concentration, your sleep is probably not of the best quality”, he exemplifies.

Recommendations for a good rest

In order to rest properly, Heredia recommends practicing good

sleep hygiene


For that, the following guidelines can be followed:

  • Set a

    regular time

    to go to sleep and get up.

    Setting schedules on a daily basis helps to “synchronize” our biological clock.

  • If you are in the habit or need to nap, it should not exceed

    45 minutes

    in length.

  • Avoid excessive consumption of


    at least 4 hours before bedtime, and do not smoke.

  • Do not drink 


    6 hours before bedtime.

    This includes not only coffee, but also tea and various soft drinks.

  • Do not consume foods

    high in fat

    , spicy, or high in sugar and calories 4 hours before bedtime.

    The doctor indicates that, for example, that chocolate has a stimulating effect.

  • Get


    physical activity , but not right before bed.

  • Use


    bedding .

  • Keep the room well


    , with a comfortable temperature.

    Temperature is essential for a good night's rest.

    Heat, as well as excessive cold, affect how we sleep.

  • Eliminate or block out distracting


    , and block out as much light as possible.

    For the former, the use of "white noise" is even accepted, which is the sound made by a fan, an untuned television or an air conditioner.

  •  Using the bed

    only to sleep and have sexual relations

    , preventing it from being a place to work, read, eat, etc.

  • It is not advisable to go to

    sleep hungry


    In these cases you can eat something light before going to bed.

  • If a person lies down and cannot fall asleep, some experts recommend

    not staying in bed

    and postponing the time they go to sleep.


Do you want to know more about sleep and health?

These notes may interest you:

➪To sleep better: how to apply the technique of "letting go" and a step-by-step guided meditation

➪How to control the negative thoughts that assail us at night and do not let us sleep

➪An expert reveals the best sleeping position

➪10 keys to a deep sleep and avoid micro-awakenings

➪How to calculate your sleep debt

➪Why sleeping well is key to removing "brain garbage"

➪Sleep and insomnia: "We cannot decide to sleep at will"


➪ Do you have any questions about health and well-being that you would like us to address in section notes?

Enter the Clarín Help Center by clicking here, enter

Message to the newsroom

and then

Questions to Buena Vida


Write us your query and send.


look also

How anger affects the heart, brain and intestines

What is the normal blood pressure value for an adult?

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-02-01

Trends 24h


© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.