Obtaining proper sleep doesn’t come easy for insomniacs, and the list of health concerns for the sleep-deprived just keeps getting longer. According to new research, insomniacs who regularly take longer than 14 minutes to fall asleep are at a greater risk for developing hypertension.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is characterized by having difficulty falling asleep, waking up often during the night with trouble falling back to sleep, waking up too early in the mornings and/or feeling tired waking up. Those who have this sleep disorder can have one or multiple symptoms, with chronic insomnia being a serious call to action as it can last multiple nights a week or much longer.
Several studies have found insomnia isn’t just a nighttime sleep disorder. It’s a 24-hour state of hyperarousal, even though insomniacs may report feeling tired and not sleeping well at night. In this severe form, insomnia brings along severe health risks including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and metabolic issues.
Published in the journal Hypertension and conducted at West China Hospital, this is the first study to focus on if the time it takes an insomniac to fall asleep and is connected to hypertension.
219 chronic insomniacs and 96 normal sleepers with an average of 40 were studied by researchers, with chronic insomnia defined as having trouble sleeping for more than six months.
The participants spent 1 night in a sleep lab and the very following day, had 4 opportunities to nap for 20 minutes every 2 hours beginning at 9 am. Half of the participants took longer than 14 minutes to fall asleep, which also brought along a 300% increased hypertension risk. Taking longer than 17 minutes to fall asleep increased the risk by 400%.
If have trouble sleeping multiple nights a week, don’t hesitate speaking to a licensed physician. The medical community is embracing the importance of shut-eye, making it just as significant as diet and exercise. The journey may not be easy, but we believe you can do it!