People suffering from inability to sleep well -- irrespective of insomnia, sleep fragmentation or nightmares being the problem -- are at a higher risk of death.
According to several studies presented at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, poor sleep increases the risk of several adverse health outcomes as well as death.
The findings of one of these studies found that sleeping for less than 5 hours per night increases the risk of death among elderly women but not elderly men.
Another study similarly showed that insomnia and sleep durations of at least 6 hours are as troublesome as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), indicating that insomnia increases mortality rate five-fold.
Based on the Sleep Heart Health study, sleep fragmentation, transition from being awake to non-REM sleep and from non-REM sleep to being awake, is another risk factor tied to significantly higher mortality.
A US study reported that sleep habits have a significant impact on weight and BMI, indicating that twins who slept between 7 and 8.9 hours each night had a lower mean BMI (25.0 kg/m2) compared to those who regularly slept either more (25.2 kg/m2) or less (26.4 kg/m2) per night.
Other studies also reported that individuals with insomnia and objective short sleep duration are at an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and mood disorders -- particularly depression.
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