According to a recent study, those with insomnia were 69 percent more likely to get a heart attack than those without the sleep condition after a 9-year follow-up.
Additionally, when using sleep length as an objective indicator of insomnia, researchers discovered that those who slept for 5 hours or less each night had the highest chance of having a heart attack.
A heart attack was twice as likely to occur in people diagnosed with diabetes and insomnia at the same time.
The author of the study, Yomna E. Dean, explains that “Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, but in many ways it is no longer just an illness, it is more of a life choice. We just do not prioritize sleep as much as we actually should. Our study showed how people with insomnia are more likely to suffer a heart attack regardless of age, and heart attacks happened more often in women with insomnia.”
Dean and her team of scientists are hoping this study will raise some awareness of the possible link between sleep disorders and cardiovascular health.
Insomnia can make it difficult to get sleep, remain asleep, or receive good-quality sleep.
According to estimates, 10-30 percent of Americans suffer from insomnia, women being more affected than men.
Although studies have connected sleeplessness to metabolic and cardiovascular conditions, this study is definitely the largest yet.
“Based on our data, insomnia should be considered a risk factor for heart attack, and we need to do a much better job of educating people on how dangerous [lack of good sleep] can be,” Dean went on to say.
After adjusting for other variables that could increase the risk of a heart attack, such as gender, age, comorbidities, and smoking, the data revealed a significant correlation between having insomnia and experiencing a heart attack.
Dean stated that “Not surprisingly, those with insomnia who also had a high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes had an even higher risk of experiencing a heart attack than those who did not. People with diabetes who have insomnia in addition, had double the likelihood of having a heart attack.”
Furthermore, compared to individuals who slept 6 and 7 to 8 hours per night, respectively, those who reported getting 5 or fewer hours of sleep every night were 1.38 and 1.56 times more likely to suffer a heart attack.
According to Dean, the results of earlier research that showed that too little or too much sleep might be damaging to heart health did not reveal a difference in heart attack risk between those sleeping 5 hours or less or 9 hours or more each night.
According to research by Dean and her team, patients who slept for 6 hours as opposed to 9 had a decreased chance of having a heart attack.
The researchers also looked at individual insomnia symptoms to see if they were linked to a higher risk of suffering a heart attack. Trouble falling asleep or remaining asleep were also linked to a 13 percent higher risk of heart attack than those that did not experience such symptoms.
“Non restorative sleep and daytime dysfunction, however, weren’t associated with heart attacks, suggesting that those who complain only of feeling unrefreshed after waking up without lack of sleep are not at an increased risk of heart attacks,” Dean said.
Dean concluded that it is crucial for people to prioritize sleep in order to get 7 to 8 hours of good sleep every night.
To make falling asleep easier, she advised the following: “The room should be dark, really quiet and cool, and put away your devices. Do something that’s calming to wind down, and if you’ve tried all these things and still cannot sleep or are sleeping less than 5 hours, talk with your doctor.”