You wake up feeling groggy… crummy… and outright cranky. Seems like nothing can throw off the rhythm of your day quite like a lousy night.
And if you think what you feel on the outside is bad, wait ’til you find out what’s going on inside your body.
Turns out it’s not just the rhythm of your day that gets messed up from poor sleep.
It can also screw up the rhythm of your heart!
Two new studies show how sleep problems can increase your risk of atrial fibrillation, the world’s most common – and deadliest – heart rhythm disease.
Scary? You bet it is.
A heart rhythm problem isn’t just when your ticker “misses a beat” like it does in a moment of panic.
It’s when your heart starts beating with all the rhythm of a high school rock band.
It’s got NO RHYTHM at all!
Your heart can beat so wildly that some folks with a-fib say it feels as if it’s trying to bounce its way right out of the chest.
If you’ve got classic insomnia – or those cases where your head hits the pillow and you stare at the ceiling for what seems like forever before falling asleep – your odds of a-fib jump by 29 percent, according to one new study.
If your sleep problem is the kind where you wake up constantly all night long, your risk of the condition shoots up by 26 percent.
And those aren’t the only risks, either.
A second new study finds your sleep quality can bring on heart rhythm problems – and if you fall short in the all-important REM sleep, you could also end up battling a-fib.
Obviously, you want to make sure you get better sleep – and not just for your heart’s sake, but for your sanity, too.
But be careful how you go about doing it.
Since some sleep drugs can also screw with your heart, it’s not out of the question that they could also play a role in any kind of heart rhythm problems.
So, don’t mess around with that stuff. Not only do you not need the drugs, but they don’t even work very well, often adding only a few measly minutes to your nightly sleep.
Start with the basics instead; a stiff drink before bed can work wonders, especially if your poor sleep is from being a little edgy at the end of the day.
If that doesn’t do the trick, try supplements of the “sleep hormone” melatonin. If you’re prone to waking up in the middle of the night, look for the time-released version – you’ll get a steady flow of hormones all night long so you can sleep better.