Insomnia or getting five hours or less of sleep each night raises the risk of having a heart attack, according to a recent study. The results, according to researchers, highlight how important it is to prioritise sleep.
According to data presented in the journal Clinical Cardiology, women are more likely than males to get a heart attack. The most prevalent sleep condition in the US is chronic insomnia, which affects between 10% and 30% of the population. Women have a 40% higher lifetime risk of sleeplessness than males.
Over 1.2 million individuals from the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway, Germany, Taiwan, and China were included in the study; Nearly 96% of them had never before had a heart attack. Women made up over half (43%) of the participants.
Thirteen per cent of people reported having insomnia, either because they were officially diagnosed with it or because they were exhibiting one of these three signs: difficulty falling asleep, difficulty remaining asleep, or waking up early and having trouble falling back asleep.
Heart attacks happened in 2,406 of the insomniacs and 12,398 of the non-insomniacs throughout the course of an average nine-year follow-up.
The potential connection between sleep length and heart health was also examined by the researchers. Five hours or fewer of sleep per night increased the risk of having a heart attack by 1.38 and 1.56 times, compared to six to eight hours, respectively.
"Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, but in many ways, it’s no longer just an illness, it’s more of a life choice. We just don't prioritise sleep as much as we should," said Yomna E. Dean, a medical student at Alexandria University in Alexandria, Egypt, and study author.
The study also provides more evidence that excessive sleep may be harmful, as there was no discernible difference in the risk of heart attack between individuals who reported sleeping five hours or less per night and those who claimed to receive nine or more.
In the United States, a heart attack occurs every 40 seconds and is the main cause of mortality for most racial and ethnic groups.
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