Brian May says he’s ‘overwhelmed’ by heart attack response
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Heart attacks are serious medical emergencies which require quick action to reduce serious risk. Knowing the potential warning signs of the condition is also vital which includes the hidden signs found in your sleep.
Sleep is essential for a person to have a healthy heart.
Those who don’t sleep enough are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease—regardless of age, weight, smoking and exercise habits, say health experts.
Researchers understand that sleeping too little causes disruptions in underlying health conditions and biological processes like glucose metabolism, blood pressure, and inflammation.
One of the reasons we know how vital sleep is to the heart is that patients with sleep apnoea (which causes them to wake frequently throughout the night) often have compromised heart health, said the Sleep Foundation.
According to researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, snoring may indicate you are at a greater risk than those who are overweight, smoke or have high cholesterol to have thickening or abnormalities in the carotid artery, according to researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.
The increased thickening in the lining of the two large blood vessels that supply the brain with oxygenated blood is a precursor to atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries responsible for many heart attacks.
Investigating the causal link to snoring, the study found changes in the carotid artery with snorers – even for those without sleep apnoea – are likely due to the trauma and subsequent inflammation caused by the vibrations of snoring.
Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) – a sleep disorder that occurs due to the collapse of the airway in the throat during sleep and causes loud snoring and periodic pauses in breathing – has long been linked to cardiovascular disease, along with a host of other serious health issues.
Gasping, or having difficulty breathing while your sleep is a sign of the condition sleep apnoea.
Breathing difficulties while your asleep puts added pressure onto the heart.
This subsequently raises your risk of a heart attack, and warrants speaking to a doctor.
It’s normal to snore a little while you snooze.
But unusually loud snoring that sounds like a gasping or choking can be a sign of sleep apnoea.
According to the NHS, losing weight if you are overweight can help to relieve snoring.
Losing weight also brings direct benefits to heart health because being overweight forces your heart to work harder to pump blood around your body, which can raise your blood pressure, a precursor to heart attacks.
The health body also recommends trying the following self-help tips to relieve snoring:
Sleep on your side – try taping a tennis ball to the back of your Sleepwear, or buy a special pillow or bed wedge to help keep you on your side
Consider asking your partner to use ear plugs if your snoring affects their sleep
You should also shun unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking and drinking too much alcohol to treat snoring, says the health site.
Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption also hike your risk for developing cardiovascular complications.
Eating to lower your risk
Choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium.
As part of a healthy diet, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, fibre-rich whole grains, fish (preferably oily fish-at least twice per week), nuts, legumes and seeds and try eating some meals without meat.
Select lower fat dairy products and poultry.
If worried about your loud snoring, speak to your healthcare professional who can advise the cause, risk and best treatment for you.
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