Insomnia Can Increase Risk of Heart Disease

Many adults across the nation suffer from insomnia. This condition, which results in a failure to fall or stay asleep, can be an isolated occurrence or can be chronic and repeated. The basic effects of it are well known; loss of productivity, tiredness, lack of focus, problems with memory and concentration and susceptibility to diseases through a weakened immune system are just some of the problems insomniacs face. There is evidence that those with the condition may be at risk for such serious conditions as heart disease.

Heart Disease

Heart disease refers to a broad range of conditions affecting the cardiovascular system of a patient. It can include problems with heart rhythm, diseases of the blood vessels, congenital problems, heart attacks, angina, stroke and other conditions. It can result in problems with the heart itself, including the muscle and valves. It is the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States.

Usually, those with heart disease are advised to change their lifestyle including specialized diet, avoiding smoking, reducing cholesterol and monitoring blood pressure, maintaining weight and getting enough exercise. A new study out of the University of Pittsburgh is looking at whether adults with insomnia may be at greater risk for such problems.

Pitt Sleep Heart Study

The Pitt Sleep Heart Study seeks to compare those adults who get enough restful sleep with those who suffer from interrupted sleep, insomnia, or are otherwise sleep deprived. The concern is that such individuals who don’t get enough sleep show more and greater risk of early heart disease than those who get plenty of rest.

Study Subjects

There are two types of adults being examined in the study. The first are those who have insomnia and generally get less than six hours of sleep per night. Six hours is considered the minimum amount of sleep for adults to remain rested, though seven to eight hours are recommended. During sleep, your body processes the events of the day, stores them, resets and reboots. It is vital to keeping healthy and strong, both physically and mentally.

The other set of subjects are adults who get more than six hours of sleep. All participants in the study have ages ranging from 18 years old to 50 years of age. They have to be in good health, both mentally and physically, and should not engage in regular strenuous exercise.

Study Participation

The study itself requires subjects to undertake three visits to a sleep clinic. At the clinic, an overnight sleep assessment will be taken during which sleep activities and habits will be monitored and recorded by technicians. In addition, subjects have to track their sleep at home. Those who have insomnia are given behavioral treatments in an effort to aid the condition.

At Atlanta ENT, we understand the frustrating that comes with sleep disorders. Sleep disorders can range from difficulty falling asleep to life threatening obstructive sleep apnea.

If you’re concerned that you may suffer from a sleep disorder, take our sleep test online!

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