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Chronic Insomnia And Its Deathly Ways

by David Chiem
(Stanford,CA, USA)

Risks: Chronic Insomnia Raises Threat to Heart

Insomnia can be quite frustrating. Some have insomnia the night before a big presentation for their company while others may have it the night before an important examination. These however are just examples of transient insomnia, or insomnia that may be due to a particular event or occurrence and isn’t necessarily nightly.

Chronic insomnia, which is the topic at hand in this article, is typically more frequent (occurring at least 3 times a week) and therefore can be considered much more dangerous to everyday life. The message presented in this article is pretty clear: Chronic insomnia may increase the risk of heart attack.

In a survey, researchers found that compared with people who never had sleep problems, those who had trouble falling asleep had a 45 percent increased relative risk of heart attack. In related news, the researchers also discovered that people with problems staying asleep had a 30 percent increased risk, and those who woke up tired had a 27 percent increase. In a recent lecture, I discovered that chronic insomnia can lead to stress throughout the night because insomniacs not only lose sleep time but more importantly they become worried about how their sleep loss will affect their performance the following day. Overall a person’s health problems (both physically and psychologically) and insomnia are interrelated. It is also best to conclusively understand that insomnia is associated with a moderately increased risk for heart problems.

This study all converges to the conclusion that chronic insomnia may cause serious health issues. However, one of the interesting facts that I learned from Dr. Dement's Sleep and Dreams class at Stanford was that health problems, in return, can be a cause for insomnia or unhealthy sleep. With this being said, we can infer that attaining a healthy mind and body and maintaining our sleep hygiene are two key factors that promote a better lifestyle.

Comments for Chronic Insomnia And Its Deathly Ways

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Apr 19, 2012
by: Anonymous

I have chronic insomnia - am currently trying a CPAP for possible upper airway resistance. I wake up and just don't know why. Sleep clinic was inconclusive (I hardly slept) I haven't got used to the mask yet but am hoping this is the issue I have been struggling with for 4 years. Thanks for your article - I am aware that keeping a regular schedule for bedtime helps for me as does regular exercise - it helps a little I should say. But a little can be a lot when dealing with a serious issue like insomnia - thanks for reminding me how important it is to deal with on all aspects.

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