Short Sleep And Chronic Insomnia Linked To Four-Fold Risk Of Early Death In Men
Main Category: Sleep / Sleep Disorders / Insomnia
Also Included In: Men's health; Psychology / Psychiatry; Men's health
Article Date: 02 Sep 2010 - 9:00 PDT
US researchers found that short sleep and insomnia was linked to a four times higher risk of early death in men; they urged public health policy makers to emphasize earlier diagnosis and treament of chronic insomnia.
You can read how researchers from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, in Hershey, Pennsylvania, came to these findings in a paper they wrote that was published on 1 September in the journal SLEEP.
The study is thought to be the first to show that chronic insomnia, coupled with short sleep as measured objectively in a lab (as opposed to self-reported in questionnaires), is linked to higher mortality in men.
Previous studies using objective measures of sleep duration have shown a link between this particular subset of insomnia and poorer health, but have not investigated association with mortality, said the authors in their background information.
First author and pricipal investigator Dr Alexandros N Vgontzas, who is professor of psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at Penn State College of Medicine and Hershey Medical Center, told the media that:
"The primary finding of our study is that insomnia, the most common sleep disorder, is associated with significant mortality in men."
"Our different results are based on our novel approach to define insomnia both on a subjective complaint and the objective physiological marker of short sleep duration measured in the sleep lab," he added.
Insomnia is where a person finds it difficult to get to sleep, and then once they are asleep, they experience periods of wakefulness where they find it hard to get back to sleep again. The quality of sleep is so poor that it also affects their performance during the day.
The researchers defined chronic insomnia as having insomnia for at least one year.
For the study, 1,000 women of average age 47 and 741 men of average age 50 years, provided a comprehensive sleep history, underwent a physical exam and slept one night in a laboratory so their sleep duration could be measured objectively with a polysomnograph.
There was a slightly higher risk of death among participants with chronic insomnia and short sleep who also diabetes and hypertension .