Study Reveals Sleepless Nights Affect Your Risk For Heart Disease

Wide-mouthed yawns and a double shot of espresso are usually part of the aftermath of not getting a good night's rest. Hectic schedules, lingering thoughts, and binge-watching another TV series can get in the way of hitting the hay, but a sleep disorder could be the culprit. According to the Cleveland Clinic, up to 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder, such as insomnia, that interferes with them getting restful sleep.

Sleeping is not just something you do on a lazy day. It is an essential part of our mental and physical well-being and safety. Sleep allows our brains and bodies to recharge and recover from the stresses of the day. The amount of sleep we need varies from person to person, however, most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night, per the Cleveland Clinic. Without adequate sleep, we are more prone to drowsy driving accidents, mental health problems, and physical health conditions (via MedlinePlus). The U.S. News & World Report reveals that a new study published in Sleep Advances has shown that your lack of proper sleep can lead to a failing heart.

Insomnia may be linked to cardiovascular disease

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to go to sleep, stay asleep, or it may cause frequent disruptions in your sleep (via Mayo Clinic). Lars Frojd, lead author of the study and medical student at the University of Olso in Norway stated, "Our study indicates that insomnia is common in heart disease patients and is linked with subsequent cardiovascular problems regardless of risk factors, coexisting health conditions and symptoms of mental health," (via U.S. News & World Report).

Researchers monitored 1,000 participants who had a heart attack, bypass surgery, or stent 16 months prior to the study. At the beginning of the study, 45 percent of participants reported having insomnia. After a four-year follow-up, 225 of the participants were hospitalized for 364 major heart events including heart attack, heart failure, stroke, removing blockages, and cardiovascular death.

Findings presented at the European Society of Cardiology on Thursday revealed that insomnia accounted for 16% of heart attacks. Frojd stated in a news release, "This means that 16% of recurrent major adverse cardiovascular events might have been avoided if none of the participants had insomnia." Frojd noted that further research was needed to see if cognitive behavior treatment and digital therapies could help those patients with heart conditions.