(NaturalHealth365) Sleep comprises around one-third of our lifetime. Unfortunately, an increasing number of people are experiencing insomnia and other sleep problems. Now, a Chinese study has recently found that insomnia and sleep issues can lead to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.
Study author Qiao He of the China Medical University of Shenyang, China, concluded that getting enough sleep is crucial to the cellular recovery required for avoiding these health issues. The study findings linking insomnia and sleep issues to a higher risk of stroke and heart attack were published recently in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
Insomnia and sleep problems linked to many health problems
The correlation between lack of sleep and health issues is nothing new. However, specific ties between sleep problems and heart disease or stroke hadn’t been well established. The current meta-analysis research looked specifically at data related to insomnia and health problems or death related to a stroke, heart issue or heart attack.
For the study, 15 cohort studies including more than 160,000 participants were examined. Around 12,000 adverse events related to insomnia were found during follow-up time periods that ranged from 3 to around 30 years. It was determined that lack of sleep as well as non-restorative sleep correlated with a higher risk of both heart attack and stroke.
Insomnia does contribute to the conditions of stroke and heart attack
Prior studies have found that sleep problems can negatively alter endocrine functioning as well as metabolism. It can also raise levels of sympathetic activation, blood pressure and both inflammatory and proinflammatory cytokines. All of these measures are risk factors for both cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Insomnia is increasingly becoming an issue in our modern society. Stresses related to work, finances and one’s personal life can all contribute. However, there are ways to combat insomnia and get the sleep your body requires each night. While consulting a healthcare professional is an option, there are practices that anyone employ to improve their sleep patterns holistically, including the following:
- Have a set bedtime each night.
- Do something relaxing before bed, such as take a warm bath, read a book or listen to soft music.
- Hang opaque window treatments to ensure that your room is completely dark when you sleep.
- Avoid using wireless devices close to bed time, and don’t keep them in your bedroom.
There are also some natural supplements you can take to promote deeper and more restorative sleep. Tryptophan, bioactive milk peptides, valerian, passionflower, hops and lemon balm have all been found effective in offsetting insomnia and promoting restful sleep.
There are also some herbal sleep aids on the market that combine several of these natural remedies. Just be sure to consult with your doctor before beginning a vitamin or supplement regimen for any health issue.
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