Features March 2011 Issue

Are Sleeping Pills Safe if You Have Heart Disease?

Sufficient sleep is critical for heart health, but sleep aids require caution and a physician’s advice.

Door sleep is common among older adults: They’re more likely to suffer from age-related conditions that disrupt sleep, and also tend to spend more time in light sleep. That doesn’t mean you should put up with the problem or dismiss it as one of the perils of aging, however, says Leo Pozuelo, MD, staff psychiatrist and associate director of the Bakken Heart Brain Institute at Cleveland Clinic. "Even if many aspects of sleep—including why exactly we need it—remain a mystery, research suggests that not sleeping enough or sleeping badly runs counter to the body’s internal clock, disrupting every physiologic function in the body," he notes.

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