Get More ZZZZ’s –Your Heart Will Thank You For It!

February is American Heart Month

Sleep is essential to our mind, body and soul. Sleep helps the body relax and rejuvenate. In addition, sleep also helps you stay healthy and alert. In fact, studies have shown that lack of sleep can have a negative impact on your health by increasing your risk for stroke and heart attack.

How Much Sleep Do We Need?

Our bodies are not like computers that operate and function effectively and smoothly when turned on. Sleep is essential to our daily function. Adults need about 7-9 hours of good quality sleep to feel and perform their very best. However, according to the Sleep Health: The Journal of the National Sleep Foundation, the amount of sleep for children may vary. Below is a pediatric stage guideline.

Average Sleep Needs by Age
Age Hours Needed May be appropriate
Newborn to 3 months old 14 – 17 hrs 11 – 19 hrs
4 to 11 months old 12 – 15 hrs 10 – 18 hrs
1 to 2 years old 11 – 14 hrs 9 – 16 hrs
3 to 5 years old 10 – 13 hrs 8 – 14 hrs
6 to 13 years old 9 – 11 hrs 7 – 12 hrs
14 to 17 years old 8 – 10 hrs 7 – 11 hrs
Young adults (18 to 25 years old) 7 – 9 hrs 6 – 11 hrs
Adults (26 to 64 years old) 7 – 9 hrs 6 – 10 hrs
Older adults (65+) 7 – 8 hrs 5 – 9 hrs
Source: National Sleep Foundation

How Does Sleep Affect The Body?  

Not getting enough ZZZZ’s can cause disruptions in underlying health conditions as well as increase the risk for type-2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, higher levels of stress, inflammation, and coronary artery disease-which can eventually lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Inflammation may be the culprit to these conditions. Poor sleep quality increases the body’s levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) which indicate active inflammation in the body. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a substance that is produced by the liver in response to inflammation.

In addition to other medical inflammatory causing conditions such as trauma and some cancers, high CRP levels can indicate that there is inflammation in the heart’s arteries, which can mean a higher risk for heart attack.

Finding It Difficult To Sleep?

If you are not getting a full nights rest, you may just need to develop better sleeping habits such as; exercise, set your alarm, try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day, and avoid caffeine or alcohol at night.

When To See A Specialist

You’ve tried everything from developing better sleeping habits to counting imaginary sheep at night yet; you are still having difficulty sleeping. You are not alone; millions of American’s suffer from sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious breathing disorder that can have irreversible complications to your health. Sleep apnea can affect adults and children. People with sleep apnea can stop breathing hundreds of times a night. In addition, the brain will sense low levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide and immediately send an emergency signal that will make the person gasp or snort for air. Below are common symptoms of sleep apnea:

  • Loud or heavy snoring
  • Weight gain
  • Restless sleep
  • Low libido
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Morning headaches
  • Feeling unrefreshed
  • Irritability
  • Restless legs
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Depression

ChicagoENT World-Renowned Sleep Experts Can Help

If you are worried about your sleep or your child’s and/or partners sleep, talk to your physician. Your physician may refer you to see a sleep specialist. Referring physicians trust ChicagoENT and Sleep Center to care for their patients than any other Chicagoland practice.  For over 30 years our board-certified, skilled and fellowship trained physicians have been providing pediatric and adult patients with diagnosis and comprehensive treatment options that are innovative, non and minimally invasive. In fact, ChicagoENT and Sleep Center helped pioneer non-invasive treatments that are available and being performed today.

ChicagoENT and Sleep Center is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). This accreditation assures the highest quality level of care by specially trained physicians and sleep technicians who rigorously follow evidence-based protocols for evaluating and treating sleep disorder patients.

Don’t trust your sleep to anyone else. Let us help you get the good night’s rest you’ve been dreaming about. We offer 10 convenient Chicagoland locations with private, luxurious hotel amenities, and in-home testing available. To make an appointment to see one of our sleep medical specialists call,

773.296.5500 or call, 773.262.4110 to make an appointment for a sleep study.  You can also schedule online 24/7 by simply clicking here!