2009-04-01 Insomnia boosts short sleepers' hypertension risk


(Reuters Health) - People with insomnia who are actually getting very little sleep have a sharply higher risk of high blood pressure than their peers who have no trouble catching Z's, new research shows.

The findings make it clear that insomnia can have real medical consequences, and is not just a disorder of the "worried well," Dr. Alexandros N. Vgontzas, director of the Sleep Research and Treatment Center at the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, told Reuters Health.

About 1 in 10 people have insomnia, Vgontzas notes, but the health consequences of a much less common sleep problem, sleep apnea, have gotten a lot more attention. Previous research has shown, he added, that people with insomnia have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, greater activation of the sympathetic nervous system, and psychiatric problems such as anxiety and depression.(Read entire article)

2009-04-01 Insomnia Raises Risk of High Blood Pressure - Researchers Add to List of Health Risks for Poor Sleepers


Insomniacs who sleep less than five hours a night are five times more likely to develop high blood pressure than sound sleepers who get enough rest, a new study shows.

The link between another sleep disorder, sleep apnea, and hypertension is well established. But the newly published study is one of the first to find that insomnia also raises the risk for high blood pressure.

Researchers estimate that 8% to 10% of the U.S. population may be at risk for high blood pressure related to chronic insomnia. (Read entire article)