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Sleep & Heart Disease

Exercise and eating nutritious foods aren’t the only things that can help increase heart health; sleep is also a factor. The better night’s sleep you get, the healthier your heart will be. According to a 2011 study by the American Heart Association, poor sleep quality is linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, a potential cause of heart disease.

“Our study shows for the first time that poor quality sleep puts individuals at significantly increased risk of developing high blood pressure,” said Susan Redline, M.D., the study’s co-author, in a statement.

Recommended amount of sleep

So how much sleep is the right amount? Lundberg is hesitant to put an exact number on it. She says it varies from person to person, but that most people need seven hours per night. When we are young, we need more than that. As we grow older, we may need less, she says. According to the American Heart Association, studies have found that most people need six to eight hours of sleep each day and that too little or too much can increase the risk of cardiovascular problems.

Negative effects of sleep deprivation

The heart is significantly impacted when the body doesn’t get enough sleep. As Dr. Gina Lundberg, clinical director of Emory Women’s Heart Center, says, “People who are sleep deprived have slower metabolism and more difficulty losing weight. They also have the effect of not wanting to exercise or participate in other healthy habits.”

Positive effects of good sleep

The positive effects of a good sleep are immediately evident when we wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. Beyond just feeling good, Lundberg explains the solid benefits to our bodies. “The positive effect of sleep is not just on your heart health but also on your stress hormones, your immune system, your breathing, and your mental status,” she says.

“People who get seven to eight hours of sleep have more alertness and better focus. They have less depression and anxiety. Getting a good night’s sleep has a positive impact on your metabolism and weight loss benefits.”

Issues for menopausal women

As women’s’ bodies go through menopause, sometimes their sleep is affected. This, Lundberg says, is often due to hot flashes and night sweats. “Some is due to changes in their activity level and metabolism,” she adds. “Many women complain of the inability to fall asleep and many others complain of the inability to stay asleep.”

How to improve your sleep habits

Do you suffer for a lack of restful sleep? If so, there several things you can do to improve your situation.

  • Exercise: Try getting adequate exercise. According to the American Heart Association’s 2013 exercise standards, it is important to schedule in 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise at least three to four times per week.
  • Avoid excess caffeine: Avoid excess stimulants, such as caffeine, particularly before bed as they may keep you awake.
  • Establish an evening routine: “Have an evening routine of preparing for bed that includes turning off electronic devices and having soothing activities such as a hot shower or bath,” recommends Lundberg. “Drinking chamomile or herbal sleepy-time tea can also be helpful, as can reading, praying or meditating.”


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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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