- Reviewed by Christopher P. Cannon, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Heart Letter; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing
Getting a good night's sleep on a regular basis is essential for cardiovascular health. That means everyone — especially people with heart problems — should address any issues that keep them from getting at least seven hours of restorative sleep every night. One common problem is obstructive sleep apnea, a condition marked by brief pauses in breathing, often triggering loud snoring, grunts, gasps, and choking noises.
These repeated breathing disruptions cause your heart rate and blood pressure to rise, putting stress on your heart and circulation. "Somewhere between 40% and 80% of people with cardiovascular disease may have sleep apnea," says Dr. Sogol Javaheri, a sleep specialist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital. Yet sleep apnea frequently goes undetected and untreated. Why?
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About the Author
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter
About the Reviewer
Christopher P. Cannon, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Heart Letter; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing
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