Whereas past studies have shown that sleep disorders areunderdiagnosed and undertreated, new research is providing abetter understanding of sleep disorders. New information onpharmacogenetics and neurobiomolecular mechanisms ofsleep-wake cycles has emphasized the need for good sleepand its impact on quality of life.
Research has found that insomnia negatively affects physicalhealth. There is an increased likelihood of having overall healthcomplaints, increased health care use, and a more frequentneed for hospitalization for individuals with chronic insomnia.Chronic pain and symptoms associated with fibromyalgia andother medical disorders also are possible effects in individualswith sleep disorders. In addition, sleep deprivation influencessystolic and diastolic blood pressure in these patients, comparedwith patients who get 8 hours of sleep a night. There isan average difference in blood pressure of 3 mm Hg to 7 mmHg within a matter of 5 to 7 days.
Moreover, studies have indicated a reduction in insulin sensitivityin patients with insomnia. Researchers have found thatpatients with chronic insomnia are susceptible to impaired glucosetolerance, an increased likelihood of having diabetes mellitus,and higher levels of cortisol in the evening.