To Your Health
March, 2023 (Vol. 17, Issue 03)
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Insomnia Heart Risk

By Editorial Staff

Have trouble falling – and staying – asleep? If this characterizes your sleep habits, you're experiencing insomnia. Before you dismiss it as a minor issue that makes you a little grumpier and more tired (just like millions of other people these days, right?), learn about findings from this research analysis that link insomnia with heart attack risk – yes, a heart attack.

Research presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session, together with the World Congress of Cardiology, suggests suffering from insomnia makes you a whopping 69% more likely to suffer a heart attack. Findings from nine years of follow-up (average) involving nearly 1.2 million adults involved in nine studies revealed the increased risk.

The increased risk was present even when researchers adjusted for other factors that could have caused heart attacks: age, gender, comorditities (other health issues) and smoking. Insomniacs at greatest risk: people who slept five or fewer hours of sleep a night.

Fortunately, although insomnia is all too common (more than 3 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from it, per the Mayo Clinic), the solution is fairly simple. That's because common causes of insomnia include things you have some (or a great deal of) power to control: poor sleep habits, anxiety, lack of exercise, or certain medications (that could be replaced with natural alternatives in some cases).

If you're suffering from insomnia, ask your doctor for advice in addressing the potential causes. Before you know it, you could be sleeping soundly – and protecting your heart at the same time.