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Healthy Heart Week: Sleep

Healthy Heart Week: Sleep

Day Five: Sleep
When people think about heart health, they think about diet and exercise -maybe even stress. But what a lot of people don't think about is sleep. Getting enough good quality sleep can lower risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease (regardless of other factors, such as age, weight, smoking, and exercise). The CDC recommends adults get 7 hours of sleep per night, but more than 1 in 3 American adults fall short of that. Here are the facts: 

-40% of adults age 40-59 reported they are getting less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep. 

-"In 1942, Americans had 7.9 hours on average hours per night compared to 6.8 hours in 2013, which is a 13% decrease."

-Lack of sleep costs the U.S. $411 BILLION in lost productivity.

-3-5% of obesity in adults could be caused by a lack of sleep. Find the study here.

-20% of teenagers reported getting less than 5 hours of sleep, averaging 6.5 hours of sleep across all teens. 

-4.7% of Americans reported nodding off while driving in the past month, while 38% said they unintentionally fell asleep during the day or at work in the past 30 days. Find the study here.

Your Health and Sleep
Not getting enough sleep over a long period of time can result in health problems, and worsen existing health conditions. Adults who get less than the recommended amount of sleep are more likely to say they have had problems with their health. These health problems increase the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke:

-High Blood Pressure: with normal sleep, blood pressure actually goes down. With sleep problems (like not getting enough sleep), blood pressure stays higher for a longer duration. One of the leading risks for heart disease and stroke is high blood pressure. 

-Type 2 Diabetes: this condition can actually damage the blood vessels. "Some studies show that getting enough good sleep may help people improve blood sugar control."

-Obesity: lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, especially for younger people, who require more sleep than adults. It's believed that a lack of sleep affects a part of the brain that controls hunger. 

We hope you've enjoyed this Healthy Heart Week and the various topics covered, including: diet, relationships, pets, exercise, and sleep. Although there are factors that can't be controlled, such as age, family history, and gender, there are many lifestyle factors that you can control. So grab those fresh fruits and veggies, embrace healthy relationships, snuggle with your pup, take a hike with a friend, and at the end of the day get a good nights rest. 
Happy Valentines Day from Envision Partnerships staff to you!