Researchers say chronic insomnia increases the chances of dying three fold compared to people who sleep well. The risk of dying remained the same regardless of the type of insomnia, a finding researchers say are important for successful insomnia treatments.
Regardless of whether study participants awakened early, had disrupted sleep and difficulty falling back asleep, trouble falling asleep or awakened frequently the chances of death were found to be 2 to 3 times higher with chronic insomnia compared to people who get enough sleep and quality sleep.
Lead author Laurel Finn, a biostatistician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison says "The most surprising result was the increased high risk for mortality among individuals with chronic insomnia versus those without insomnia. The other important finding was the non-differentiation between subtypes of insomnia with respect to mortality risk."
To find the link between chronic insomnia and increased risk of death researchers sent 2,242 study participants in the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study surveys in 1989, 1994 and 2000. If insomnia symptoms were reported twice the scientists designated the participant has having chronic insomnia. Social security records searched in 2010revealed 128 deaths.
It doesn't matter if you awaken early, have trouble falling alseep, or wake up frequently - chronic insomnia was still found to boost the chances of death even without other health risk factors such as heart disease, diabetes or hypertension.
The raised risk of dying from insomnia found in the study highlights the need for an emphasis on finding treatments. Finn says, "The identification of insomnia as a mortality risk factor may have clinical implications and raise the priority level for insomnia treatment."
Researchers say regardless of subtype, chronic insomnia boosts the risk of dying and was compared to individuals who have no insomnia. Chronic insomnia was found to boost the risk of death two to three times compared to individuals who fall alseep with no trouble and maintain quality, uninterrupted sleep.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
FREEDOM FROM INSOMNIA