A newly released study is the first to demonstrate that chronic insomnia with short sleep duration is an independent and clinically significant risk factor for high blood pressure.
According to study authors from the Sleep Research and Treatment Center at the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania, participants with insomnia and sleep duration of less than five hours had a risk for hypertension that was 500 percent higher than participants without insomnia who slept more than six hours.
In addition to that, patients with insomnia and sleep duration of five to six hours had a 350 percent higher risk for hypertension than normal sleepers.
The study involved a random sample of 1,741 men and women in central Pennsylvania with an average age of 49 years.
Based on their findings, the authors of the research, such as lead investigator Dr. Alexandros N. Vgontzas, director of the Sleep Research and Treatment Center, recommend that people suffering from insomnia seek evaluation and treatment from their medical provider.
He adds that even those insomniacs whose sleep duration is normal have a higher risk of depression and are more likely to report lower quality of life.
Health practitioners have also recommended holistic approaches such as relaxation techniques, massages and herbal supplements for those who suffer from sleep disorders.