A new study suggests that for women who already have heart disease, poor sleep may be particularly dangerous to their heart health.
At EraseDisease.com, we often focus on healthy diet, exercise and arginine supplements to maintain or improve cardiovascular health. These are the elements that we’ve found most contribute to a healthy heart, and combined with breaking those bad habits such as smoking or drinking, a healthy diet, exercise and arginine can strengthen your cardiovascular system.
With that said, we are the first to say that sleep often escapes our healthy heart discussions. Sleep, however, is paramount for maintaining a healthy heart, especially for women, new research is showing.
Statistics from the American Heart Association reveal that heart disease is a bigger problem for women than most of us think:
- Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.
- Heart disease causes one in three women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.
- An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease.
- Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease.
- Only one in five American women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat.
Sleep, or lack there of, is directly related to increased inflammation and coronary heart disease. The numbers are staggering.
The study, conducted by the University of California San Francisco, investigated 980 men and women over the course of 5 years. Researchers looked into sleep patterns, inflammation and heart disease risks.
- Women who reported poor sleep quality experienced greater increases in levels of inflammation over the five-year period than men.
- Women who reported their sleep quality as “very poor” or “fairly poor.” experienced increases to their inflammation markers that were 2.5 times greater than men who reported the same levels of poor sleep.
- The association between inflammation and sleep remained intact for women even after taking into account other factors that might influence inflammation, including age, cardiac function, body mass index, medication use, and lifestyle factors.
- The link between inflammation and sleep for women with coronary heart disease was particularly strong among those women who had a tendency to wake too early in the morning.
- Women were more likely than men to report waking too early. They were slightly more likely than men to report waking frequently during the night and having difficulty falling asleep.
- Because the majority of women in the study were post-menopausal, researchers hypothesized that low estrogen levels might explain the link between poor sleep and inflammation. This question was not examined in the study itself.
Arginine for Heart Health
So, how can you improve heart health and avoid the pitfalls of heart disease. Well, here at EraseDisease.com we are huge proponents of natural solutions to heart disease. Solutions such as a heart healthy diet, regular exercise, stress-reduction strategies, and arginine supplements.
Arginine has been clinically proven to widen the inner walls of the arteries, thus facilitating improved, healthy blood flow, lowering blood pressure and improving overall cardiovascular health. Arginine has a host of benefits, but we find this one to be, by far, the greatest.
And, as research here proves, finding ways to improve your sleep patterns can also improve heart health.