Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can sleeping more strengthen my heart?"
Is a lack of sleep causing poor blood flow?
The answer to your question depends somewhat on how much sleep you are currently getting. If you are getting less than 7-9 hours of sleep per night, then you may be experiencing symptoms of sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation symptoms include fatigue, decreased mental capacity, irritability, high blood pressure, and weight gain. Since sleep deprivation causes the elevated blood pressure and weight gain, they can indirectly effect your cardiovascular symptoms. While getting enough sleep is important for your health in general, sleeping per se does not strengthen your heart. Plus getting more than 9 hours of sleep per night does have the potential to cause more harm than good. There is also no changes to your blood flow with the amount of sleep that you get. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. The two of you can discuss the amount of sleep you are getting and determine whether or not it is adequate. If you are not getting enough sleep, you and your doctor can discuss strategies for you to work more sleep into your schedule. If you are having trouble getting to sleep, or staying asleep, but have no other symptoms, then you may benefit from a sleep aid.
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