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Insomnia Could Harm Your Heart
Insomnia Could Harm Your Heart
A large study featuring more than 52,000 adults published in October 2011 in Circulation suggests that lack of sleep is not good for your heart. The researchers, who followed the study participants for more than 11 years, found that difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep or not feeling rested after sleep were associated with an increased risk of heart attack.
In December 2011 the Journal of Environmental and Public Health reported that short sleep duration, daytime sleepiness and difficulty falling asleep significantly increased the risk of cardiovascular disease in adults age 55 or older. The researchers explained that sleep complaints are common in older adults; more than half of the seniors in one large study reported they did not get enough sleep.
As it turns out, this is an issue that affects a lot of people and not just the elderly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that “insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic.” The National Center for Sleep Disorders Research at the National Institutes of Health reports that approximately 30 to 40 percent of adults have some symptoms of insomnia during the course of a year and that about 10 to 15 percent have chronic insomnia. Insomnia is defined as the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. People who suffer from insomnia also do not feel rested.
According to the CDC, research demonstrates that it’s more than a heart attack that insomniacs should be worried about. People who are not getting enough sleep are “more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity,” warns the CDC.
Natural sleep aid
There are many over-the-counter and prescription options to help people sleep; however, these drugs are not without side effects. For more information about insomnia treatments, click here.
The Natural Standard Research Collaboration reports that the natural hormone known as melatonin has strong scientific evidence for the use of insomnia. Our body produces melatonin to help regulate sleep/wake cycles, also known as the circadian rhythm. According to Natural Standard, “Certain diseases such as cancer, prescription medications such as benzodiazepines, and age may decrease melatonin levels.”
“In several studies, supplementation with melatonin has been found helpful in inducing and maintaining sleep in both children and adults, for both people with normal sleep patterns and those suffering from insomnia,” explains Michael T. Murray, ND, best-selling author and a leading authority on natural health (www.doctormurray.com). “However, it appears that the sleep-promoting effects of melatonin are most apparent only if a person’s melatonin levels are low. In other words, taking melatonin is not like taking a sleeping pill.”
For more information about melatonin, click here.
Whether you try melatonin or other natural sleep aid, the important thing is to get your Zzzz’s. Your health, and your heart, depend on it!