Almost every­one expe­ri­ences sleep dis­or­ders in one way or anoth­er. This may be due to a stress­ful sit­u­a­tion or psy­cho-emo­tion­al over­load, with dis­eases of the ner­vous sys­tem and men­tal dis­or­ders. The con­se­quences of poor sleep neg­a­tive­ly affect both the sub­se­quent dai­ly activ­i­ty of a per­son and his health. The Med­AboutMe por­tal will tell you about the effect of insom­nia on the heart and intro­duce you to the most pop­u­lar cures for it.

Poor sleep impairs quality of life

Sleep is, on the one hand, a spe­cial form of men­tal activ­i­ty, on the oth­er hand, a func­tion of the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem. Some­times the impor­tance of prop­er and healthy sleep is under­es­ti­mat­ed by a per­son. How­ev­er, when faced with insom­nia or a poor qual­i­ty night’s rest, the opin­ion changes in the oppo­site direc­tion, as this leads to day­time fatigue and sleepi­ness, bad mood, reduced con­cen­tra­tion and per­for­mance, increased risk of occu­pa­tion­al injuries and dri­ving errors. Lack of sleep leads to var­i­ous func­tion­al dis­or­ders in the body — the occur­rence of headaches, dis­or­ders of the ner­vous sys­tem and func­tions of the gas­troin­testi­nal tract, to the occur­rence and devel­op­ment of heart dis­ease.

Types of sleep disorders

Types of sleep disorders

The most com­mon type of sleep dis­or­der is insom­nia (insom­nia), which leads to a dete­ri­o­ra­tion in the qual­i­ty of sleep (ini­ti­a­tion, main­te­nance, awak­en­ing, dura­tion), despite the cre­ation of good con­di­tions and suf­fi­cient time. Insom­nia is char­ac­ter­ized by a decrease in the men­tal and phys­i­cal activ­i­ty of a per­son dur­ing the day­time, and is caused by an increase in the sym­pa­thet­ic activ­i­ty of the ner­vous sys­tem, the lev­el of cor­ti­sol and adreno­cor­ti­cotrop­ic hor­mone in the blood. There are two types of rea­sons for these changes:

  • emo­tion­al and cog­ni­tive fac­tors (inabil­i­ty to post­pone day­time wor­ries, relax, anx­i­ety about pos­si­ble insom­nia, anx­i­ety about the com­ing day, etc.);
  • bio­log­i­cal break­downs in meta­bol­ic process­es (vio­la­tion of the dai­ly secre­tion of mela­tonin or the exchange of monoamines).

Women suf­fer from insom­nia 1.5 times more often than men, old­er peo­ple over 75 years old — 2 times more often than mid­dle-aged peo­ple.

The first fac­tor leads to the onset of adap­tive insom­nia, which devel­ops against the back­ground of a change in the envi­ron­ment, quar­rels, dif­fi­cul­ties, prob­lems, con­flict, in gen­er­al, acute stress. Insom­nia ends spon­ta­neous­ly, after the end of stress­ful con­di­tions. Usu­al­ly, in this case, over-the-counter anti-anx­i­ety med­ica­tions are used with­out con­sult­ing a doc­tor. There are also the fol­low­ing types of sleep dis­or­ders:

  • psy­chophys­i­o­log­i­cal insom­nia, when the fear of not get­ting enough sleep pre­vails. A per­son tries with all his might to force him­self to sleep, which leads to the exact oppo­site result.
  • Sleep apnea due to poor sleep hygiene occurs main­ly in the elder­ly and ado­les­cents. The first “sin” with day­time sleep, tak­ing it away from the night. The lat­ter show evening hyper­ac­tiv­i­ty, push­ing back the time to fall asleep. This form of insom­nia in any per­son can be caused by pro­longed com­put­er games, watch­ing aggres­sive and excit­ing TV pro­grams at night, stuffy rooms, and tele­phone con­ver­sa­tions.
  • insom­nia in dis­eases of the inter­nal organs and the ner­vous sys­tem, which occurs against the back­ground of the course of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases, osteoarthri­tis, chole­cys­ti­tis, pep­tic ulcer of the stom­ach and duo­de­num.
  • sec­ondary insom­nia caused by tak­ing sleep­ing pills and oth­er drugs. This is a form of drug depen­dence and addic­tion. This group also includes sleep dis­or­ders in alco­holism. An attempt to replace or with­draw from the use of the drug, to which a steady crav­ing has appeared, leads to the devel­op­ment of a with­draw­al syn­drome with all the ensu­ing neg­a­tive con­se­quences — increased insom­nia, anx­i­ety, irri­tabil­i­ty of the heart­beat, sweat­ing, etc.

Sleep and heart

Numer­ous spe­cial stud­ies have shown that a large pro­por­tion of heart dis­eases (angi­na pec­toris, arrhyth­mia, hyper­ten­sion, heart attack) are caused and pro­ceed with sleep dis­or­ders. And if a car­diac attack occurs at night, then the course of the dis­ease is more severe and has an unfa­vor­able prog­no­sis. In such patients, insom­nia is fixed either in the ear­ly morn­ing hours, or there is a prob­lem falling asleep. In the first case, a per­son wakes up much ear­li­er than expect­ed, expe­ri­enc­ing a feel­ing of fatigue and lack of sleep. And often the patient begins to adjust his dai­ly rou­tine to the prob­lem of ear­ly awak­en­ing. In the sec­ond case, there are dif­fi­cul­ties with going to sleep, accom­pa­nied by fre­quent noc­tur­nal awak­en­ings, often accom­pa­nied by night­mares. The sit­u­a­tion is fur­ther com­pli­cat­ed by the fears of patients about the course of their car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, fears of the devel­op­ment of seizures at night, which increase anx­i­ety and pre­vent the body from get­ting enough sleep. It turns out a vicious cir­cle: poor sleep leads to heart dis­ease, and car­diac dis­or­ders, in turn, con­tribute to a change in the bio­log­i­cal clock (cir­ca­di­an rhythms) of a per­son, in par­tic­u­lar, the devel­op­ment of insom­nia. The heart needs a night’s rest and respite, so sleep­ing pills are nec­es­sar­i­ly includ­ed in the treat­ment reg­i­men for car­diac dis­eases.

sleeping pills

sleeping pills

Insom­nia med­ica­tions can be chem­i­cal-based (pre­scribed only by a doc­tor) and over-the-counter drugs based on syn­thet­ic or herbal raw mate­ri­als. The lat­ter are dis­tin­guished by the absence of the effect of depen­dence and addic­tion. These include Melax­en, Donormil, Val­o­cordin-Doxy­lamine (Val­o­cordin, Cor­val­ol), Afobazole, glycine, as well as herbal tinc­tures from one com­po­nent (valer­ian, moth­er­wort, hawthorn, peony) or prod­ucts that include sev­er­al sim­i­lar plants (Novo-Pas­sit , Persen-forte, seda­tive fees).

If the stress is pro­longed, and over-the-counter med­ica­tions do not nor­mal­ize the mode of night rest, as well as in the pres­ence of chron­ic dis­eases, you should con­sult a doc­tor. In this case, both non-selec­tive ben­zo­di­azepine hyp­not­ic drugs of the old gen­er­a­tion (phenazepam, diazepam, alpra­zo­lam) and mod­ern non-ben­zo­di­azepine drugs (zopi­clone, zolpi­dem, zale­plon) are pre­scribed. If insom­nia is caused by depres­sion, then the use of anti­de­pres­sants is indi­cat­ed in ther­a­py.

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