Healthy Heart

A New Study Shows Possible Link Between Atrial Fibrillation and Sleep Apnea

A New Study Shows Possible Link Between Atrial Fibrillation and Sleep Apnea

The Risk Of Sleep Apnea And Cardiac Issues

Studies that are able to examine the relationship between sleep apnea and cardiac issues are of great importance, since the relationship between the two can be severe. This condition can cause issues when an individual is sleeping, as a study at Umea University has pointed out. It was shown that although not the case for everyone, those with atrial fibrillation already have sleep apnea and other related sleep issues. In this study conducted at Umea University by researchers, it was shown that the effects of sleep apnea were not specifically influenced by electrical cardioversion. Although known among those with heart issues, sleep apnea can have lasting effects on the heart.

Atrial fibrillation is when the heart rhythm is found to be abnormal. Although this can lead to other issues, treatment is effective in numerous forms. This can be treated using electrical cardioversion for many individuals. This type of treatment will send an electrical shock through the body and heart, sending the heart back into a regular rhythm. In the study, patients who were undergoing the atrial fibrillation treatment had no prior knowledge of any condition related to sleep apnea. It was shown that seventy-four percent of the patients had obstructive sleep apnea, while the other twenty-six percent had the other form, central sleep apnea.

Although it did not worsen the conditions, it was shown that the form of electrical cardioversion treatment for the atrial fibrillation did not have any effect on the conditions of sleep apnea in the patients studied. With additional pressure on the chest during sleep, a lack of oxygen can be of great concern. Even the secretion of stress hormones can lead to atrial fibrillation. Cutting back on stress and getting a restful nights worth of sleep can make a difference for both conditions and help prevent others from occurring.

Following Up And Getting Better Sleep

Following up with a proper medical screening can be of the greatest importance in the fight to try and find ways to assist in sleep apnea if one already has existing heart issues. It can be managed over time, but various treatments are highly suggested. In addition to addressing atrial fibrillation with a healthcare professional, getting a good night's sleep can do more than just help an individual feel better throughout the day. Better health overall and improved circulation has been found in those who report better sleep. Although there is no known cure for sleep apnea issues, treatments and management options exist.

Trying to keep up with the natural sleep cycle of the body is of greater importance than ever in today's hectic and heavily scheduled world. Although nearly impossible to fall asleep around the same time for many people around the globe, a solid eight hours and somewhat of a bedtime schedule is highly recommended by healthcare professionals and researchers alike. Even daytime choices can affect heart health and the relationship with sleep apnea. Napping can be a great way to feel energized, but keep in mind that naps should be limited to around fifteen to twenty-five minutes. Naps that are taken during the early afternoon are shown to be the most productive. Those who report taking long naps and sleeping in heavily were among those who had the most issues getting to sleep when it came to a bedtime routine.

Avoiding food before bed can be a helpful method for some, while many find comfort in healthier foods a short while before bed. A doctor can discuss the best food options before bed if a person continues to find that they are extremely hungry before their bedtime. While it might seem surprising to some, getting enough sunlight during the morning and day could actually increase how much sleep someone can get over time. At night, it is best to avoid any form of bright  screen an hour or two before bedtime. This is easier said than done for numerous people, especially during the busy schedule of today's modern world. Light from televisions and any bright screen can disrupt melatonin and its natural process. When it comes time to sleep, keeping the lights down with shades or another form of light blocking curtain is important. Reading a book before bed may also be a calming activity in the softer light.  

Foods And Exercise Tips

As directed by a doctor, getting enough exercise and healthy foods can assist in better blood flow for the heart and improved sleep apnea symptoms. Light exercise has been shown to have great impact, which could be a wonderful method in getting into a healthier lifestyle. Those new to working out should consult with a doctor before starting intense sessions. A doctor can assist in finding exercises that are beneficial to those with not only sleep apnea, but atrial fibrillation and other related issues.

Foods that are heart healthy can also be great for assisting in getting a better night's sleep. Yoga, cardio exercises, breathing exercises, and jogging are just a few examples of exercises that can benefit not only the heart, but improve conditions for those with any form of sleep apnea. Although most doctors will recommend the suggested serving of seafood in a diet that allows it, salmon is well known as a food that is packed full of minerals and vitamins. A large amount of omega-3 is found in salmon and other fatty fish. This type of fatty acid can not only boost heart health, but lend a better night's sleep in the process. This can lower the plaque found in arteries.

As suggested by The American Heart Association, eating at least two servings of fish a week can help a person get the right amount of Omega-3 fatty acids. Dietary supplements may also be taken to get the benefits of this. Talking with a healthcare professional about dietary requirements for treatment of both conditions might have some foods that overlap, whereas some could be cut out. Although milk can be of great assistance, those facing some heart issues may be advised by their healthcare provider to cut back on certain types of milk and soy products. A steady diet of fruits and vegetables are essential, in addition to proper multivitamin supplementation. Those with allergy and intolerance related issues should be doubly mindful of foods that could trigger breathing problems and an irregular heartbeat. 

The Effects of Not Managing Sleep Apnea

Without treatment of either issue, both atrial fibrillation and sleep apnea can worsen over time, leading to serious effects and even death if not managed properly. Knowing when changes occur in the body is vital. Keeping a journal of symptoms and reporting changes to a primary care provider or healthcare professional is not only wise for already existing issues, but could be a staple for preventive care of other conditions.

If left untreated, other conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney issues, weight gain, and further breathing problems could arise. Knowing when to seek help for any issues related to breathing and the heart is of vital importance! With the right treatment and care, a healthier life can be had all around for patients suffering from either condition.,,20720182,00.html#dark-chocolate-14