A healthy heart in a healthy (and rested) body: here are the tips from the Belgian Cardiology League for better sleep

Poor quality sleep impacts heart health.

While more than one in two Belgians said in 2017 that they did not get enough sleep, it has now been shown that sleep is among the ten factors taken into account to modify one’s cardiovascular risk. Alongside tobacco, cholesterol, hypertension or diet, quality sleep is therefore one of the levers on which we can play. “A good night’s sleep, ideally between seven and nine hours, leads to better health“, explains the Belgian Cardiological League, on the occasion of a new campaign launched for its Heart Week.

If sleep is obviously not the only factor to be taken into account, it makes it possible toavoid adverse effects, both short and long term. “Poor sleep increases appetite and the risk of weight gain, increases the risk of high blood pressure, promotes the onset of glucose intolerance and the occurrence or recurrence of cardiac arrhythmias“, and also impacts “stress management, decreases energy and therefore physical activity and exacerbates the manifestations of heart failure“, indicates the Cardiological League, so many factors that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Interview | “Get up and move”: cardiologists warn of the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle (04/20/2021)

Fight against sleep apnea…

In focus, including: sleep apnea. One in five adults suffers from it, to varying degrees: “during sleep, the person stops breathing uncontrollably for more than ten seconds, more than five times per hour of sleep: the body then creates emergency micro-awakening phases to counter these apneas and s ensure that breathing resumes normally“, explains the League, which details the consequences of these apneas, such as hypertension, the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, etc.

And this, while the Cardiological League estimates that 80% of people suffering from sleep apnea are neither diagnosed nor treated.

Another sleep pathology targeted by the Belgian Cardiological League: chronic insomnia (which occur at least three times a week for more than three months): “in the long term, insomnia has cardiovascular consequences“, concludes the Cardiological League.

What advice?

Faced with these findings, doctors therefore advise adopting a series of behaviors, first when waking up and during the day: having a rhythm of regular sleep, including weekends; get up vigorously; and practice a physical activity regular.

Likewise, certain methods are recommended at bedtime : not resisting sleep, avoiding extreme temperatures in the bedroom, clearing your head before going to bed, not seeing when you wake up and banishing screens at least one hour before bedtime.

Activities in Brussels hospitals

During Heart Week, which takes place throughout the coming week, several activities will be organized in particular in hospitals in the capital. Thus, the Cliniques de l’Europe ‘Sainte-Elisabeth and Saint-Michel) will host a sleep apnea screening on Monday morning in their entrance halls, as will the CHU Saint-Pierre (Monday and Friday morning), the CHIREC (Wednesday at Delta, Tuesday and Wednesday at Sainte-Anne-Saint-Rémi).

Brochures will also be distributed during this week at the Erasmus Hospital and the Saint-Jean Clinic.

ArBr – Photo: Belga (illustration)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.