If you recall my post dated November 20, 2017 “Hypertension – Yes Again”, you will remember that an old classmate from junior high school, Dr. Mehmet Harmacı, informed us that blood pressure is highest 30 minutes before you get out of bed in the morning.
It follows that, most heart attacks occur in the morning. More specifically, most heart attacks occur on Monday morning.
Part of it has to do with stress, both mental and physiological, which is where Monday comes in. The first day of the week is also the first day of the work week, and a lot of men dread all that crap they have to take for the next five days, until they’re back in the sweet embrace of the weekend.
But there’s more to the morning heart attack than a dreaded job. There are physiological factors at play, some of which we understand and some which we don’t.
One of the things we understand clearly is the role dehydration plays in blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks.
Most of us don’t drink water during the night because
we’re sleeping, and don’t want to interrupt this, by staggering to the bathroom to pee all that water back.
This makes perfect sense, but there is also a very important health reason in not exposing yourself to bright light in the middle of the night:
Your body stops producing melatonin and Human Growth Hormone when you do this.
These are critical hormones for good health, but there is a way to prevent this disruption; get “blue lights” to see your way to the bathroom and not pee on the bathroom floor. This goes for all those friends who visit the bathroom a few times every night. Install blue lights in your path to the bathroom.
This lack of water turns our blood viscous, like molasses on a cold winter morning, and the heart has to work extra hard to pump that sludge through our veins. To make things worse, the first thing most men reach for in the morning is
a cup of coffee, or
orange juice, and that only increases dehydration and the risk of a morning infarction.
Caffeine is of course a mild diuretic, while orange juice (as well as other juices or soft drinks) is osmotic and causes fluid to move from the vascular system into the intestines. Either one can leave the heart high and dry.
Men Need a Different Strategy
To protect yourself against a “morning heart attack” cardiologist Joel K. Khan recommends keeping a glass of water at your bedside and drinking it before you get out of bed. Cover the top of the glass with something to keep the harmful bacteria out during the night.
The water increases the liquid volume of the blood, thus reducing the risk of blood clots and heart attacks.
Although this message is geared towards men over 40, women over 40 should also think about it, even though the risk for women is slightly lower because they have lower blood viscosity.
That’s it; see you all next week.