St. David's HealthCare - February 23, 2018
by Live Healthy Austin

Too often, patients dismiss the importance of sleep. Sleep is vital to overall health & wellness and proper sleep hygiene is paramount for those who live with cardiovascular disease. Sleep allows the body to rest and naturally restore itself. Blood pressure drops, breathing slows down, blood flow moves to the muscles and tissue is repaired. Hormones, such as the human growth hormone, are secreted during the process of sleep.

Sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, cause patients to wake frequently throughout the night and can severely compromise heart health. Interrupted sleep keeps the body from the natural process of lowering its heart rate and blood pressure. Over time, this leads to higher blood pressure during the day and a greater chance of heart problems. Clinical studies have shown the relationship between OSA and cardiovascular disease. One study found that over an eight-year period, men with severe sleep apnea were 58 percent more likely to develop congestive heart failure than men without the disorder.

At Heart Hospital of Austin, we recognize the impact that sleep has on a person’s cardiovascular health and we have developed an advanced sleep disorders center to study, diagnose and treat patients. With physicians who are both board-certified in cardiovascular medicine and sleep medicine, we are comprehensively equipped with the knowledge and resources to care for those who suffer from a sleep disorder.