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Can Insomnia Increase The Risk Of Heart Attacks And Stroke?

Sleep is vital for the physical and mental well-being of an individual. It is the only time when the body and mind are completely at rest. For an average adult, doctors are known to recommend at least seven hours of sound sleep each night.

However, insomnia and late night shifts have resulted in the rise of sleep deprivation among many. A new study links the lack of sleep to major coronary diseases like heart attacks and strokes.

How Was The Study Conducted?

The research was conducted by Qiao He and colleagues from China Medical University in Shenyang. The researchers analyzed 15 studies done in the same field with at least two years of follow-up to 160,867 participants.

Previous studies linked insomnia to a general deterioration in health, but the sleep disorder has never been specifically tied to heart ailments.

The researchers focused primarily on recording any sleep disorder among the participants, which may include difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, as well as waking up early in the morning. The team also maintained a record of cardiovascular diseases.

Insomnia Leads To Heart Ailments?

The researchers concluded that sleep deprivation ups the risk of affliction from heart disease significantly.

The results showed that people who faced difficulty initiating sleep were affected the most. The risk of heart attacks and stroke was increased by 27 percent in such individuals.

Those who underwent non-restorative sleep were also affected significantly. The chances of heart attack increased by 18 percent in these people.

The risk rose by 11 percent for participants who had difficulty maintaining proper sleep throughout the night. However, the researchers were unable to tie early morning awakening to increased risk of cardiac ailments.

"Sleep is important for biological recovery and takes around a third of our lifetime, but in modern society more and more people complain of insomnia," said He.

The researcher stated that according to a report, one in every three individuals in Germany suffered from sleep disorder.

The study showed that women are at a greater risk of developing insomnia due to their reaction to stress, as well as their sex hormones. The researchers advised the general public to pay more attention to their sleeping patterns and to visit a doctor if irregularities are noted.

Previous studies have shown that sleep disorder leads to reduced metabolism, high blood pressure, and overall change in the endocrine system's functionality. So, it was only a matter of time that researchers linked it to cardiovascular complications as well.

The results of the study were published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

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