Heart Beat: June 2014

If you suffer from insomnia, your risk of a having a stroke may be much higher than someone who doesnt have problems sleeping through the night. Research published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke found that insomnia raises the likelihood of hospitalization due to a stroke by 54 percent over a four-year period. Insomniacs with diabetes face even greater stroke risks, the researchers found. The risk also seemed to be higher if you experienced insomnia as a young adult. Researchers examined the health records of 21,000 people with insomnia and 64,000 people without the condition. Explanations for the association between insomnia and stroke risk arent clear, but researchers believe that poor sleep leads to systemic inflammation, poor blood glucose control, increased blood pressure and other health complications. The study didnt explore whether successful treatment of insomnia actually lowered stroke risk. However, researchers said that its important for people with insomnia to look for and address the underlying causes of their sleep problems, as well as manage any other risk factors for stroke, such as high blood pressure. Insomnia is defined either as difficulty falling asleep or waking during the night and having trouble falling back to sleep.
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