Insomnia is bad for the heart

September 4, 2009,

Can't sleep at night? A new study published in the journal Sleep has found that people who suffer from insomnia have heightened nighttime blood pressure, which can lead to cardiac problems. The investigation, which measured the 24-hour blood pressure of insomniacs compared to sound sleepers, was conducted by researchers from the Université de Montréal, its affiliated Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal Sleep Disorders Centre and the Université Laval.

"Over many years, chronic insomnia can have negative effects on the hearts of otherwise healthy individuals," says lead author Paola A. Lanfranchi, a professor in the Université de Montréal Faculty of Medicine and researcher at the Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal Disorders Centre. "Whereas blood pressure decreases in regular sleepers and gives their heart a rest, insomnia provokes higher nighttime blood pressure that can cause long-term cardiovascular risks and damage the heart."

The findings are important given that insomnia, which is a chronic difficulty falling or staying asleep, affects up to 48 percent of the population at some point in their lives. As part of the study, the scientific team recruited 13 otherwise healthy chronic insomniacs and 13 good sleepers. Subjects spent 40 hours in the sleep laboratory: two nights for adaptation and one for monitoring followed by the intervening day.

"Blood pressure cycles are mainly linked to the sleep-wake cycle," says co author Jacques Montplaisir, a professor in the Université de Montréal Department of Psychiatry and director of Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal Disorders Center. "Since blood pressure is heightened among insomniacs, those with overt cardiac disease are particularly at risk for progression of the disease."

More information: The article "Nighttime in Normotensive Subjects With Chronic : Implications for Cardiovascular Risk," published in Sleep was authored by Paola A. Lanfranchi, Marie-Hélčne Pennestri, Lorraine Fradette, Marie Dumont and Jacques Montplaisir of the Université de Montréal and its affiliated Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal, as well as Charles M. Morin of the Université Laval.

Source: University of Montreal (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Male contraceptive compound stops sperm without affecting hormones

April 20, 2018
A new study published today in the journal PLOS ONE details how a compound called EP055 binds to sperm proteins to significantly slow the overall mobility of the sperm without affecting hormones, making EP055 a potential ...

New research suggests possible link between sudden infant death syndrome and air pollution

April 20, 2018
A study led by the University of Birmingham suggests a possible association between exposure to certain pollutants and an increased risk of so-called 'cot death'.

A dose of empathy may support patients in pain

April 20, 2018
Research published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine suggests that empathic, positive messages from doctors may be of small benefit to patients suffering from pain, and improve their satisfaction about the care ...

For heavy lifting, use exoskeletons with caution

April 20, 2018
You can wear an exoskeleton, but it won't turn you into a superhero.

Low total testosterone in men widespread, linked to chronic disease

April 19, 2018
A male's total testosterone level may be linked to more than just sexual health and muscle mass preservation, a new study finds. Low amounts of the hormone could also be associated with chronic disease, even among men 40 ...

New device to help patients with rare disease access life-saving treatment

April 19, 2018
Patients with a rare medical condition can receive life-saving treatment at the touch of a button thanks to a new device developed by scientists.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.