After a new study recently revealed that a good night’s sleep can help promote cardiovascular health, it left a question: Can a good night’s sleep also aid in treating atrial fibrillation (AF)?

According to an expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), getting too little sleep can have harmful effects on a person’s cardiovascular system. Cardiologist Alan S. Gertler, M.D., associate professor of medicine in UAB’s Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and part of UAB’s Heart & Vascular Services, has stated that the ideal amount of sleep is between 6 and 8 hours.

“Deep, high-quality sleep is needed to lower heart rate and blood pressure, which reduce stress on the heart,” Gertler explained.

Since AF, a condition characterized by an irregular or fluttering heartbeat, oftentimes is ignited by stress, it stands to reason that proper rest may help in reducing the amount of AF episode recurrences. A person’s heart rate and blood pressure can rise and fall during REM sleep; while dreaming, the heart’s beating will alter as well. According to the National Institutes of Health, these changing rates can also play a role in making a person’s heart healthier.

“Without enough sleep, there is an increase in blood pressure and stress hormones, lower glucose tolerance and weight gain,” Gertler said. “All of these factors can increase the risk of coronary artery disease.”

Gertler also stated that not getting a enough sleep “can lead to elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, which may be a marker of inflammation of the endothelial lining of the arteries, which can increase the risk of atherosclerosis.”

Gertler continued by pointing out that sleep apnea can also play a role in heart health.

“Sleep apnea is a very common problem,” Gertler said. “It causes not enough air to get into the lungs through the mouth and nose during sleep, decreasing the amount of oxygen in your blood. As a result, sleep is interrupted through the night, and the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, cardiac arrhythmias and stroke increase.”

While AF is a condition that is marked by varying factors, this information may help ease some of the recurrences of the condition. So far, prescription drugs are popular deterrents from recurrences of AF, though drugs like Multaq have been found to be too dangerous for use because of the side effects linked to them. Some of the serious side effects linked to Multaq include a worsening of the heart condition, liver failure, lung disease and pulmonary toxicity.

If you or a loved one has suffered from liver failure, a worsening of the heart condition, lung disease or pulmonary toxicity after taking Multaq, contact attorney Greg Jones for a free consultation today. I am experienced at fighting Multaq lawsuits and may be able to help you recover money for your injuries.