As if tossing and turning in bed weren’t bad enough, a new study conducted by the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, revealed that the incidence of hypertension is greater in insomniacs than in those who can sleep normally. The study was presented on June 12, 2012, at the Sleep 2012 Conference in Boston.
Through an Internet-based questionnaire, researchers examined 5314 subjects with insomnia and questioned them about their sleep habits, insomnia symptoms, health routines, and presence and severity of hypertension.
“The cause of hypertension in insomniacs is due to the number of times the individual wakes up during the night as well as their sleep latency—the length of time it takes to accomplish the transition from full wakefulness to sleep,” said lead author Christopher Drake, associate scientist, Henry Ford Hospital Sleep Disorders and Research Center.
According to the National Center for Sleep Disorders Research at the National Institutes of Health, approximately 70 million Americans suffer from sleep problems; among this group, nearly 60% have a chronic disorder. The link between sleep apnea and hypertension is already well established by prior studies. The study authors also found that the higher the severity of the insomnia, the more severe the hypertension was in the study subjects.
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