Understanding the intricate relationship between sleep and heart health is crucial for promoting the well-being of your employees and members. Sleep plays a vital role in allowing the body to rest and repair, and any disruptions in this process can have a significant impact on overall health, including the well-being of the heart. In this article, we explore the consequences of poor sleep on heart health, the corresponding influence of heart health on sleep, and the potential solutions to mitigate these issues. By addressing these interconnected factors, organizations can help their employees and members lead healthier lives while minimizing costs.

The Impact of Sleep on Heart Health:

During sleep, the body experiences a natural decline in blood pressure and heart rate, providing the heart with much-needed respite. However, when sleep is compromised, the heart is forced to work harder and can become overburdened. Research indicates that individuals with sleep disturbances, such as insomnia, are at a higher risk of developing health complications such as high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, and heart disease. Furthermore, irregular sleep-wake patterns have been found to nearly double the likelihood of cardiovascular disease development. Insomnia has also been associated with an increased risk of heart disease risk factors.

The Influence of Poor Heart Health on Sleep:

The relationship between sleep and heart health is symbiotic, with heart conditions affecting sleep quality. High blood pressure, a prominent risk factor for heart disease, can make it challenging to achieve restful sleep. The strain on blood vessels caused by high blood pressure can lead to symptoms like headaches, chest pain, and breathing difficulties, all of which disrupt sleep. The American Heart Association has also found that medications prescribed for high blood pressure, such as beta-blockers, have also been linked to sleep-related issues, including unusual dreams, insomnia, and sleep disorders.

Individual Impacts of Poor Sleep and Heart Health:

The consequences of poor sleep and heart health extend beyond the individual, affecting workplace productivity and healthcare costs. People with insomnia have higher healthcare expenditures, averaging over $6,000 more per year.1 Additionally, they experience an average of 3.2 more unproductive work hours per week, resulting in approximately $5,000 in lost productivity costs per employee annually. Heart disease, the leading cause of death in the US, poses significant health risks for employees and members, and increases healthcare expenses, with an average annual medical spending of $9,842 per individual.2

Embracing Digital Therapeutics as an Effective Solution:

To address insomnia and heart health concerns within the organization, digital therapeutics offer promising solutions. Companies like Big Health and Hello Heart provide digital therapeutic programs that assist individuals in overcoming insomnia and managing heart health, respectively. By integrating these solutions into their daily lives, employees and members can experience improved well-being and productivity, reducing the long-term impact of these conditions.

Learn More in an Informative Webinar with CVS Health:

To delve deeper into this topic, we invite you to join an engaging webinar on Thursday, June 29, at 2 pm ET, in collaboration with Big Health and CVS Health. This webinar will explore the latest trends in heart and sleep health, the value of digital therapeutics, and studies highlighting their benefits. Register today! 

1 Big Health Internal Data ( 2023).

2 Figure calculated as part of Validation Institute’s analysis of Hello Heart cost savings. Source: Validation Institute. 2022 Validation Report (Valid Through October 2023). https://validationinstitute.com/mp-files/hello_heart_savings_2022_final.pdf/. Published October 2022. Accessed June 8, 2023. (This analysis was commissioned by Hello Heart, which provided a summary report of self-funded employer client medical claims data for 203 Hello Heart users and 200 non-users from 2017-2020. Findings have not been subjected to peer review).

Hello Heart is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment. You should always consult with your doctor about your individual care.

1. Gazit T, Gutman M, Beatty AL. Assessment of Hypertension Control Among Adults Participating in a Mobile Technology Blood Pressure Self-management Program. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(10):e2127008, https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.27008. Accessed October 19, 2022. (Some study authors are employed by Hello Heart. Because of the observational nature of the study, causal conclusions cannot be made. See additional important study limitations in the publication. This study showed that 108 participants with baseline blood pressure over 140/90 who had been enrolled in the program for 3 years and had application activity during weeks 148-163 were able to reduce their blood pressure by 21 mmHg using the Hello Heart program.) (2) Livongo Health, Inc. Form S-1 Registration Statement. https:/www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1639225/000119312519185159/d731249ds1.htm. Published June 28, 2019. Accessed October 19, 2022. (In a pilot study that lasted six weeks, individuals starting with a blood pressure of greater than 140/90 mmHg, on average, had a 10 mmHG reduction.) NOTE: This comparison is not based on a head-to-head study, and the difference in results may be due in part to different study protocols.
2. Validation Institute. 2021 Validation Report (Valid Through October 2022). https://validationinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Hello_Heart-Savings-2021- Final.pdf. Published October 2021. Accessed October 19, 2022. (This analysis was commissioned by Hello Heart, which provided a summary report of self-fundedemployer client medical claims data for 203 Hello Heart users and 200 non-users from 2017-2020. Findings have not been subjected to peer review.)