Lack of Sleep and Your Heart

By: Jessica Aspiras Email
By: Jessica Aspiras Email

It's widely known many Americans are sleep deprived.

"Driving too hard during the day, having too much to do compromises the amount of time you have to commit to sleep," says Sparrow Hospital pulmonologist Dr. Larry Rawsthorne.

A new study released by the University of California, San Diego reports it can be potentially dangerous.
Sleep disruptions in the average person increases the chances of blood clots forming.

Explains Rawsthorne, "A lot of heart attacks start with a blood clot in the artery of the heart. And so if your blood clots more easily then blood clots are more likely to form in the arteries or your heart."

But what's considered a sufficient amount of undisrupted sleep and how can you tell if you've gotten enough?

"It can vary anywhere from 5-6 hours to 8-9 hours, but the average is probably in the 7 1/2-8 hour range," says Dr. Rawsthorne.

Adds pulmonologist Dr. C.M. Gera of the Mid-West Center for Sleep Disorders, "They may be able to tell when they wake up in the morning. But the effects are much more later on in the day, they then become tired and sleepy mostly in the afternoon."

So here are some tips to ensure you get a good night's rest.

"Some people should not sleep with a clock with a luminescent time on the nightstand because when they look at it, it will cause them to be wide awake," says Dr. Rawsthorne.

"Don't take any of your work or worries with you to the bedroom, and try to keep the computer and televisions out of there," says Dr. Gera.

Because those are distractions that could get in the way of your health. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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