Can a lack of sleep, – or insomnia as it is commonly known, cause premature death amongst males?
Well, apparently we’re all supposed to be having between seven and eight hours of sleep per night. This is the golden quantity of sleep that is supposed to assure our health and well-being.
Now, one of the risk factors for insomnia is developing high blood pressure.
Also of interest is that If you are a man, and you find yourself unable to sleep enough hours during the night, you may apparently end up dying earlier as well, according to scientists.
This is specifically a male problem, as women who suffer from lack of sleep do not appear to be as prone to the problem.
A study was carried out by the University of Pennsylvania State College of medicine, headed up by Dr Alexandros Vgontzsas, and published in the medical journal ‘Sleep’. It investigated the sleeping patterns of nearly 2000 men and women, dating back nearly 2 decades. The research also made allowances for certain complicating factors such as illnesses, and other conditions (smoking, diabetes, depression, elevated blood pressure). It is supposedly the first research that links death rates to sleeping disorders.
The people who volunteered to take part in the study gave a detailed history of their sleeping patterns, and also took part in a laboratory experiment where they were studied whilst asleep by researchers.
The study team classified those as having less than six hours sleep per night as suffering from insomnia. Out of the survey volunteers more than twice as many women as men actually suffered from insomnia.
But the research team discovered that men who fell into this category, were four times more likely to die than other men who slept for between seven and eight hours per night.
However, there is an interesting twist to the story, as the monitoring period for the men was 14 years, whereas for the women it was only 10 years. This has led other experts to question the validity of the study.
Although the conclusions from the study have failed to explain why men are more vulnerable than women to health problems caused by lack of sleep, this research should highlight to doctors and medical personnel that chronic insomnia must be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.