Consider seeking cognitive-behavioral therapy for long-term insomnia, especially if you are a male. New research shows men who consistently get less than six hours of sleep are four times more likely to die.
A long-term mortality study published in the September issue of the journal SLEEP demonstrates why identifying and treating insomnia early on should become a top health priority.
The study involved 741 men and 1,000 women with an average age of 50 years old. Researchers determined which subjects had insomnia using sleep diaries, physical exams and overnight sleep studies. About four percent of men had chronic insomnia and slept less than six hours per day.
After 14 years, more than half the male insomniacs had died. Only 9.1 percent of “good sleepers” were deceased. Death risk was even higher for men who had insomnia and diabetes or hypertension. The results were adjusted to account for risky conditions such as obesity, alcohol use and obstructive sleep apnea.
There was little difference in mortality rates for females with insomnia and "good sleepers." The authors of the study couldn’t determine why the relationship seemed to only affect men. One reason may be because they followed women for only 10 years, as opposed to 14 years.
Among all participants, one in five males died over the course of the study, while only 5 percent of women died.
Reduce your risk by aiming for the ideal amount of sleep for adults – 7 to 8 hours each night. Long-sleepers also have higher than average mortality rates, a recent study reports.
A number of other studies have also looked at the link between sleep duration and mortality. Previous findings show chronic insomnia increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and hypertension and is associated with neurocognitive deficits.
Learn more about cognitive-behavioral therapy, the leading treatment for long-term insomnia at sleepeducation.com.
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