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Can You Suffer A Heart Attack While Sleeping? Doctor Explains The Danger Of Silent Heart Attacks

The prevalence of heart attacks in India has made it a severe cause of concern among people both young and old. In recent years, there has been an increase in the incidence of heart attacks affecting people from different regions including healthy and active people. Sleep has become one of the risk facts of attacks being reported in India, it has become crucial to understand different aspects of a heart attack such as why and when it occurs. To understand more about heart attacks and their arrival while a person is sleeping, we spoke to Dr Monik Mehta, Senior Consultant Cardiology, Manipal Hospitals, Gurugram. Here's what she has to say.

What Is A Silent Heart Attack?

Many people are confused about the fact that a heart attack can happen when a person is sound asleep and resting. The truth is- yes, a heart attack can happen while a person is sleeping. And it can be more dangerous than a waking attack as people and their loved ones might take longer to understand that they are experiencing a heart attack. Delayed action can be deadly when it comes to a heart attack.

Heart attacks can occur in the morning hours due to reasons like slowed down metabolic and heart rate of the patient. This reduction in metabolic rate and blood pressure can cause a reduced blood flow to nature, leading to a heart attack. Sleeping less than your requirements and only getting only 4-5 hours of rest each night can increase the likelihood of problems such as a stroke, heart disease, and a heart attack.

Furthermore, Obstructive sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder characterized by the temporary cessation of breathing during sleep, can increase the risk of a heart attack during sleep. Another cause is Insomnia which is linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. Other health conditions of people such as being diabetic, obese, having high cholesterol, eating a high-fat diet, and smoking excessively can cause increase the risk of a heart attack.

When Does a Silent Heart Attack Occur?

It is important to note that, while heart attacks can occur while sleeping, they can also occur at any time of day. It's crucial to be aware of the warning signs of a heart attack, which include chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadedness, and discomfort in other areas of the upper body. These symptoms should not be ignored or taken lightly, as they might be signs of a heart attack.

If a person experiences any of these symptoms, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately, regardless of the time of day. Call the nearest medical support and an ambulance as soon as you can. Take an aspirin to slow down the rate of blood clotting till help comes.

The earlier this condition the diagnosed, the higher the chances of survival and recovery. It's also essential to practice heart-healthy habits, such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, and avoiding smoking, to reduce the risk of heart disease and minimize the chances of experiencing a heart attack. A person who has already experienced a stroke or a heart attack is more likely to experience another one as compared to the rest of the population therefore, precaution must be taken at every step.

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