American Heart Month: How Sleep Affects Your Heart

How Sleep Affects Your Heart

Hello, February. Hello, American Heart Month! This is the time when communities, health professionals and families collaborate to help friends and family members make healthier choices. You can be a part of American Heart Month, too. Learn about strategies for preventing heart disease and spread the word to educate and inspire people to live heart-healthy lives.

Need some information to get started? Sleep on this: Recent studies show connections between shortened sleep duration (defined as less than six hours of sleep) and increased risk of heart disease.

Here’s how sleep can affect your heart

You might have guessed by now: Sleep is essential for a healthy heart. Not getting enough sleep can put you at higher risk for cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease—no matter your age or weight, or whether you smoke too much or exercise too little.

Quality sleep, and plenty of it each night, is vital to lowering your risk of heart conditions, because while you sleep, your heart rests. Your heart rate and blood pressure lower; conserving energy and function to power you through the next day.

Habitual lack of sleep can cause myriad problems, including putting you at higher risk for type 2 diabetes and for heart and heart-related problems such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Coronary heart disease

In addition to keeping your heart healthy, six or more quality hours of sleep can help you maintain mental well-being and boost immunity, along with a plethora of other health benefits.

Achieve your best health through high-quality sleep

Want to stay happy and healthy? Your physical and mental health hinge largely on consistent, quality sleep. At Pomona Valley Health Centers, our specialists are ready to help you overcome sleep challenges through expert sleep disorder treatment in Chino Hills, Pomona, Claremont, and La Verne.

Whatever you need, whenever you need it, PVHC surrounds you with family, sports and occupational medicine, women’s health and specialty care. We also provide urgent care from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm during the week and from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm on the weekends and most holidays.

To schedule an appointment, call 909-536-1493 or click here to use our online form.

Surprising Things That Are Affecting Your Sleep

Surprising Things Affecting Sleep

According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should sleep between seven and nine consecutive hours every night. How much sleep are you getting? Chances are, it’s not enough.

Your body and brain rely on restorative sleep to keep you healthy and help you get the most out of your waking hours. If you wake up after a short or restless nights sleep, you may notice you have a shortened attention span, foggy memory, or decreased alertness. Perhaps it’s time for a 30-minute power nap?

Surprising Things That Are Affecting Your Sleep

If you’re struggling with sleep, you may be surprised to learn what may be keeping you from a good night’s rest.

Sleep apnea

Snoring or inefficient breathing can give you a fitful night of sleep and leave you tired and sluggish throughout your day. If this happens to you regularly, try using a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) mask to increase air pressure in your throat so it doesn’t collapse when you breathe in, or an oral appliance to help keep the airway open during sleep.

Insomnia

Whether the culprit is anxiety, depression, over consumption of alcohol, or certain medications, insomnia can strike and cause you difficulty in falling asleep, staying asleep, waking too early, or waking up unrefreshed. Unless you are taking a medication that disrupts your sleep, often a relaxing shower, soothing music or the scent of lavender can help you relax and get to sleep.

Minty fresh breath

While we don’t recommend you stop brushing your teeth before bed, you might want to avoid toothpastes and mouthwashes that contain peppermint and cinnamon, or try brushing an hour or two before bed. These ingredients can have a stimulating effect and increase your alertness.

Vitamin B

If you’re having trouble staying asleep, try taking your vitamins in the morning. Vitamin B12 affects melatonin levels, making sleep more difficult to come by. Also, if vivid dreams are waking you up, vitamin B6 may be the culprit.

A nightcap or chocolate

Drinking a glass of wine or indulging in a bit of chocolate before bed can affect your sleep homeostasis, your brain’s regulator for sleep and wake cycles.

Polyester

If you’re waking up hot and sweaty in the middle of the night, check the fabric content of your bed sheets. Polyester bed linens aren’t breathable, which can cause sleep disruptions.

Too much time indoors

Regular exposure to sunlight strengthens your circadian rhythm and makes you more likely to fall asleep easily at night.

Smartphones and tablets

These devices emit light that can interfere with your natural sleep cycle. Not only that, but using technology shortly before bed increases the time it takes for you to fall asleep and your ability to stay asleep.

Sound effect

Sleeping in a noisy environment cannot only be disruptive, it can adversely affect your health. Try to find a quiet place to get some shut-eye. You will have more restful, higher-quality sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.

At the PVHC Sleep Center, we are ready to help you sleep better by discovering what sleep issues you have. Schedule your sleep consultation today by calling 909-865-9152. Our doctors are ready to help you sleep soundly.

Healthy Aging Month: Ways to Stay Healthy as You Age

healthy aging

Many don’t realize that the aging process doesn’t mean your health has to suffer. In honor of Healthy Aging Month, check out these tips to help you stay healthy as you age.

A well-rounded exercise routine will help you stay healthy and injury-free

There’s no way around it: in order to age your best, you need to exercise regularly. The ideal exercise routine includes a combination of aerobic work, strength training and flexibility. By keeping your muscles strong and flexible, you’re protecting against falls by bolstering your balance and ability to react. And if you do fall, having strong, limber muscles will better protect your body against injury. Additionally, exercise helps improve:

  • Body-fat levels
  • Heart health
  • Cognitive functioning

The flu is a greater threat now that you’re older — be proactive by getting vaccinated

As you age, your body’s ability to fight disease declines, and what was relatively minor when you were younger can be life-threatening when you’re older. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 80% to 90% of recent flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older. Getting a flu shot every year will prompt your body to develop immunity to each year’s flu. Additionally, it will also reduce the amount of flu virus present in the total population, which helps protect those unable to receive vaccinations through.

Stay social to keep yourself feeling young

A healthy social life will help you maintain a positive mood and keep your mind sharp. Try to make an effort to invite friends out for coffee or lunch on a regular basis. Also, getting involved with a volunteer program can be a great way to help others while meeting new people.

You need just as much sleep now as when you were younger

Contrary to popular belief, older adults need just as much sleep as younger adults: 7 to 9 hours per night, depending on the individual. Unfortunately, health problems and life interruptions can interfere with our ability to sleep well as we age. If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, avoid eating, drinking and looking at screens right before going to bed. And if you still struggle with sleep after making the appropriate lifestyle changes, you may have a sleep disorder that requires a doctor’s care.

Incorporate these tips into your routine to keep yourself feeling strong and energetic in your later years. For more information about staying healthy as you age, call (888) 686-0773 to schedule an appointment with the physicians at Pomona Valley Health Centers.

Important Tips for Men’s Health and Wellness

Tips for Men's Health

Many men don’t make their health a priority. All too often, wellness is put on the back burner in favor of work or other obligations. In honor of National Men’s Health Month, the doctors at Pomona Valley Health Centers (PVHC) offer some tips for men’s health that you can start implementing today for optimal wellness.

Exercise regularly

Make sure you’re incorporating regular exercise into your normal routine, and vary your workouts so your body doesn’t get comfortable with the same movements. Men who exercise are less likely to suffer from conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, coronary artery disease, and depression.

Eat a healthy, balanced diet

Getting proper daily nutrition is crucial to your overall health and well-being. Count your nutrients, rather than your calories, and consume a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Be sure to limit foods and drinks high in calories, salt, sugar, and fat.

Make sleep a priority

Be sure to get at least seven to nine hours of sleep every night, as this gives your body the chance to heal and recharge. Inadequate sleep is associated with chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Logging adequate amounts of sleep helps you live longer by lowering your stress, sharpening your memory, and lowering cravings for unhealthy foods.

Monitor your mental health and stress levels

Pay close attention to warning signs of depression, or if you have a family history of mental illness, talk to your doctor about the symptoms. In addition, try to manage your stress in a healthy way, as high levels of stress can be harmful to the body.

Look out for prostate and testicular cancer

As you get older, your prostate grows, resulting in urinary issues. If you’re experiencing urinary problems, talk with your doctor about scheduling a prostate exam. It’s also important to perform monthly testicular self-exams to look for any bumps or abnormalities.

For more information on men’s health, or to schedule your yearly physical, call the doctors at Pomona Valley Health Centers today at (888) 686-0773 to schedule an appointment.