People with insomnia are at a higher risk for coronary heart disease, heart attacks and stroke, says a Swedish study.
The Swedish Medical University studied the sleep problems of 1.3 million people and and its connection to illness. The study included people with heart problems and people without heart disease.
It turned out that those with a hereditary predisposition to insomnia were more likely to have heart disease.
Researchers found evidence that sleep disorders were linked to fatal cardiac events. The researchers analyzed 248 marker genes known to cause sleep disturbances. They compared these genes to the likelihood of heart disease, stroke, and coronary heart disease.
People at risk for hereditary sleep disorders had a 13 percent higher risk of heart attacks and a 16 percent higher risk of heart failure. Stroke risk increased by 7%.
The results remained the same, although the studies included smoking and depression, which are known to be associated with hereditary insomnia.
It is still unclear whether insomnia directly affects dangerous heart problems, or whether they are only genetically related to one another.
A combination of risks with dangerous effects
Dr Larsson, who is part of the research team, believes that insomnia can lead to a fight or death instinct in a person.
This instinct primarily affects cardiovascular function by increasing heart rate and muscle contractions, which in turn increases the risk of stroke and heart failure over time.
The doctor also points out that previous studies have found a link between insomnia and type 2 diabetes and overweight. The combination of these risks increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Researchers point out that research is limited. The results do not focus on insomnia itself, but on the hereditary changes that are associated with insomnia.
According to Dr. Larsson, it was impossible to determine when a patient with cardiovascular disease actually suffered from insomnia. The study could only ascertain if the subject had hereditary predispositions for insomnia.
Can you get rid of insomnia?
Insomnia refers to a situation in which a person regularly has trouble getting sleep. Studies show that occasionally 30 percent of people suffer from insomnia. According to the British Public Health System, sleep deprivation shortens life expectancy.
It is recommended that an adult sleeps 8 hours a night. The most common causes of insomnia are stress, depression or anxiety, uncomfortable bed, excessive noise, alcohol, caffeine and nicotine.
A person suffering from insomnia has difficulty falling asleep. The person who’s suffering with insomnia also wakes up frequently at night, wakes up early and is tired during the day.
Sleep and falling asleep can be improved by changing your sleeping habits.
Tips for a better sleep
1. Establish a sleep routine
Establish a routine around sleeping. Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time.
Doing the same things routinely before going to bed also helps to relax. For example, you can take a shower 1-2 hours before bedtime, meditate or read a book.
2. Drink water
When you are asleep, body fluids are distributed around the body. This means that there is less fluid in the brain during the night.
Brain fluids improve the circulation of blood and oxygen in the brain and the availability of nutrients.
They also guarantee better dreams. Drink water before bed and immediately upon waking up
3. Find the correct position
Sleeping in the right position is important so you can sleep well throughout the night. As you sleep, your neck and head should be in line with the rest of your body. If your pillow is too large, it will lift your head and bend your spine in an unnatural way.
4. Turn off the lights and screens
If you want to sleep well, turn off your computer, TV, and smartphone one hour before bed.
Bright lights inhibit the production of melatonin hormone. The hormone is essential for sleeping and needs darkness.
5. Do not drink caffeine
If you are drinking caffeine drinks, it is best to have your last cup in the afternoon. If you want a warm drink in the evening, drink decaffeinated tea or cocoa. In tea, chamomile or lavender are preferred, which are said to be relaxing and soothing.
6. Listen to quiet noises
Soothing sounds can help you fall asleep. Think about what sounds you find soothing. For example, thunder, calm rain, waves, wind hum in trees and classical music can help you fall asleep.
7. Achieve sleep with fragrances
Some scents, such as lavender, can help you relax. You can use scented candles or sticks, creams, bath foams or essential oils before going to bed.
8. Do not wear underwear
Taking off your underwear is a symbolic way to relieve the stress of the day. You can wear pajamas or sleep completely naked.
9. Clean up
A messy environment can make it more difficult to relax. You do not need to clean the entire house from floor to ceiling, but you can, for example, collect clothes lying in the bedroom in to a one pile.