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Trouble Sleeping Could Mean Higher Risk of Heart Attack

insomnia alarm clock
Sadie Hernandez, Flickr

If you have trouble falling asleep, you may be at a higher risk of having a heart attack, according to a recent study of people with insomnia.

Researchers tied heart attack risks to three major symptoms of insomnia, based on responses from a study of more than 50,000 participants, and say the risk increases with each additional symptom.

People who had trouble falling asleep almost daily in the last month had a 45 percent higher risk of heart attack, compared to people who reported almost never having the same problem. In addition, those reporting an inability to stay asleep almost every night in the last month presented a 30 percent higher risk of heart attack, and respondents who said they don’t wake up feeling refreshed more than once a week were linked with a 27 percent increase in heart attack risk.

Scientists say this research confirms that it’s important to see your doctor if you’re having trouble sleeping. “Sleep problems are common and fairly easy to treat,” said study co-author Lars Erik Laugsand. “So it’s important that people are aware of this connection between insomnia and heart attack and talk to their doctor if they’re having symptoms.”

According to recent research, up to 33 percent of people experience at least one insomnia symptom, and previous studies have linked insomnia to heart disease. About 785,000 Americans have a first heart attack each year.


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