A new study from China Medical University in Shenyang stated that having insomnia can increase the chances of heart attacks and strokes. Women, the study also reported, are at a higher risk because they are prone to insomnia. The study examined over 160,000 people’s data and found that there was a definite correlation between sleeping problems and heart attacks or strokes.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder where people have trouble falling and staying asleep. It is usually followed by daytime sleepiness, low energy, irritability, and depression. Insomnia can cause focus problems and increase the chances of car crashes. The sleep problem can either be short term or long term and can be independent or a symptom of another problem. Stress, chronic pain, heart failure, hyperthyroidism, heartburn, restless leg syndrome, certain medications, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol can cause insomnia. Lifestyle changes are the first step in treating it, including consistent bedtimes, sunlight exposure, and regular exercise. Other treatments of insomnia include medications including sleeping tablets and other sedatives. Others suffering from insomnia try herbs including valerian, chamomile, lavender, and cannabis.
According to the Sunday Express, insomnia is a common problem for people. The researchers looked for connections between insomnia and detrimental health problems including cardiovascular disease and stroke. Qiao He, a researcher and master’s student at China Medical University, said sleep is necessary for proper biological recovery. Sleep takes up one third of a person’s lifetime; however, in modern society, more and more people suffer from insomnia.
The study was recently published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. The links between insomnia and poor health were found, but links between stroke or heart disease and insomnia have been inconsistent. Taking 15 previous studies, the researchers examined the data between three to thirty years. Between this period, there were almost 12,000 “adverse events.” Insomnia and the links to adverse health conditions are not clearly understood.
UPI said that while more women tended to have insomnia than men, it was not “statistically significant between sexes.” But because of biology, genetics, and stress women were prone to insomnia. In a press release from the European Society of Cardiology, Miss He said researchers could not say that insomnia is more dangerous for women and stressed that healthcare providers should “pay more attention” to the sleep health of women. Further research needs to be conducted to further understand how insomnia increases the risk of future stroke and heart attacks.
By Cheryl Werber