According to research, getting seven or more hours sleep a night increases the benefits to the heart when combined with a healthy lifestyle, and could be as effective as quitting smoking when it comes to preventing strokes and heart attacks.
A team from the Netherlands looked at the rates of heart disease and strokes in more than 14,000 men and women for more than 10 years.
According to the study, conventional guidance on diet, drinking, exercise and smoking were found to reduce deaths from heart disease or stroke, but further lives were saved when combined with having enough sleep.
The researchers believe that getting enough sleep could make a significant impact on health.
If the conclusions of the research are correct, then many heart attacks and stroke deaths could be avoided, or at the very least postponed.
At the end of the study, approximately 600 out of the 14,000 individuals had suffered heart disease or stroke, and 129 had died.
The research confirmed that the risks of dying from a cardio-vascular event are significantly reduced by following four positive lifestyle factors – taking exercise, eating healthily, drinking alcohol only in moderation, and not smoking.
Observing all 4 behaviours resulted in a 57% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 67% lower risk of dying from stroke or heart disease.
Combining seven or more hours sleep a night with the other 4 lifestyle factors enhanced the benefits – resulting in a 65% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and an 83% lower risk of death from it.
So it seems that sleep is an important lifestyle factor when it comes to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. We suspect it’s because a lack of sleep creates stress, a known factor in heart disease.
But it’s a complicated issue – at Hypnotension we have found that there are at least 13 different lifestyle factors involved in lowering blood pressure. Aside from the 4 lifestyle factors covered in the study, we also deal with things like stress, guilt, responsibility, anger and loss of control to name but a few.
When someone has high blood pressure, it is a signal that possibly one or more of these lifestyle factors need to be addressed.
The Hypnotension programme is incredibly effective at reducing high blood pressure because it focuses on the emotional and lifestyle factors at the heart of the issue.
Treatment is delivered by a Certified Hypnotension Practitioner, who is a hypnotherapist specifically trained to target the lifestyle factors discussed above that cause and maintain high blood pressure.
Hypnotherapists, who have long been indirectly helping people with hypertension by using hypnotherapy for weight loss, smoking and stress treatments, are finding their success rates soar when they incorporate the hypnotension programme.
This is because the Hypnotension approach focuses on the lifestyle and emotional triggers which cause the sympathetic nervous system to overreact, leading to hypertension.