When your heart is not functioning properly, you cannot sleep properly. Your sleep and your heart health are intertwined. If you don’t get the proper sleep, your heart health may worsen. While your heart works during the day and night, it is natural for your heart to slow down during the night.

How sleep impacts your heart:

  • Rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep occurs about 20% of your total sleep time. Both your heart rate and blood pressure fluctuate up and down during REM.
  • Non-rapid-eye-movement (NREM) sleep takes up your remaining sleep time. When in NREM, your heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure are lower than when you are awake.
  • Even when you wake briefly from sleep, your heart rate and blood pressure go up and your heart must work harder.

Many researchers are of the belief that one of the most important aspects of sleep is to let the heart rest from the work it puts in during the day. That is why addressing sleep disorders is so important. Some sleep disorders can create or further worsen existing heart problems. For more on various types of sleep disorders, click here.

American Academy of Sleep Medicine (sleepeducation.org)