Insomnia Can Weaken the Heart, Cause Stroke

Insomniacs face a much higher risk of stroke than restful sleepers, according to a recent study. Past research has shown that not getting enough sleep can lead to a significant number of health problems, including elevated stress levels, symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and even widespread pain conditions such as fibromyalgia.
Now, researchers from Taiwan’s Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science, and the Department of Medical Research at Chi-Mei Medical Center, have tied insomnia, a condition of chronic sleep deprivation – to an elevated risk of stroke.
To determine this, the researchers analyzed the medical records of more than 21,000 insomniacs in Taiwan, China. The medical data on these patients was observed for a four-year period, allowing the researchers to conclusively differentiate the intensity of each insomniacs’ condition.
The participants were identified as having either chronic or persistent insomnia – disturbed sleep lasting for more than a month; relapse insomnia – return of insomnia symptoms after being free of the condition for more than 6 months; or remission insomnia – becoming non-insomniatic at any point during the study. These groups were then compared to the medical histories of over 60,000 people who did not have insomnia.
Looking at hospital records, the researchers were able to determine that the patients with insomnia had a 54 percent increased risk of stroke than the non-insomniacs. Even more alarming, insomniacs who were diagnosed with the sleeping disorder when they were young-adults between 18 and 35 years old were a whopping eight times more likely to be hospitalized for stroke, compared to non-insomniacs.
Predictably, the risk of stroke was also found to be greatest in those who suffered from chronic or persistent insomnia or had diabetes.