HERSHEY, Pa., Sept. 1 (UPI) — Men who complain of chronic insomnia and who sleep less than 6 hours a night have an increased risk of dying, U.S. researchers say.
Principal investigator Dr. Alexandros Vgontzas at Pennsylvania State College of Medicine and Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa., and colleagues had 1,000 women with a mean age of 47 years, and 741 men with an average age of 50, provide a comprehensive sleep histories in which insomnia was defined as a complaint lasting at least one year. Each participant also received a physical exam and had sleep evaluated in a sleep laboratory where sleep duration was measured objectively by polysomnography.
The study, published in the journal Sleep, finds compared to men without insomnia who slept for 6 hours or more, men with chronic insomnia who slept for less than 6 hours were four times more likely to die during the 14-year follow-up period — after factoring in for body mass index, smoking, alcohol, depression and obstructive sleep apnea.
“Until now no study has demonstrated that insomnia is associated with mortality,” Vgontzas says in a statement. “Our different results are based on our novel approach to define insomnia both on a subjective complaint and the objective physiological marker of short sleep duration measured in the sleep lab.”
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