5 ways to improve your heart health and sleep health in 2016

5 ways to improve your heart health and sleep health in 2016

by Americare Respiratory Services

Your sleep health and heart health may be more connected than you realize.  

In light of National Heart Health Month this February, let’s take a moment to review the risks that can jeopardize your sleep and your heart.

  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise or physical activity
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Smoking or alcohol abuse
  • High-stress lifestyle

You will see these 5 risk factors for almost every single cardiovascular health problem you read about.  They are also associated with many other diseases, including sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. 

The good news is, that if you are concerned about your health you can modify these risk factors relatively easily.  You will probably need some support and guidance from a medical professional, but you CAN reduce your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and sleep apnea at the same time. 

Start by taking a multi-vitamin and any other nutritional supplements.  Nutritional deficiencies can make it hard for you to lose weight, and it adds stress to an already worn-out immune system.  

Avoid fast food, fried food, and fatty foods.  These foods are not doing you any favors.  One of the healthiest diets according to doctors is the DASH diet.  Check it out, and talk to your doctor. 

Achieving and maintaining a heathy weight reduces stress on all parts of your body while drastically reducing sleep symptoms like snoring and insomnia.  If you’ve struggled to lose weight in the past, consider talking to your doctor about a medical weight loss program. 

Smoking and drinking habits can be hard to break.  Don’t hesitate to ask for help.  Ask your doctor, your friends, your family.  Some employers are also willing to throw in incentives like cheaper health insurance if you can ditch the cigarettes.

Take time every day to relax.  Do something for yourself. Do something you enjoy.  It could be as simple as coloring in an adult coloring book, reading your favorite magazine or story book, or taking a relaxing bubble bath.  Reducing your stress level, especially before bedtime, will help you avoid heart disease and sleepless nights.