Can insomnia cause early death in males?

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, and this is why this research caught the attention of the lower blood pressure team here at Lower 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.

American Sleep Disorder Association: Groups That Are Available To Help

For those with sleep disorders, there are groups out there, like the American Sleep Disorder Association, that are interested in helping you. They do so by researching the causes of sleep disorders, researching cures to sleep disorders, and offering support for people afflicted with sleep disorders. If you are interested in joining one of these groups, you should search online for them. After all, sleep problems affect many people and those affected should have a place to go to get help. Here are the benefits to sleep disorder associations.

Finding Causes

Finding the cause of sleep disorders is problematic. The challenge is to figure out the reason why a person has the problem that they do, and how it is consistent with all of the other people who suffer from the problem. For this purpose, you can actually help sleep disorder researchers by being a patient for them. Let them know exactly what your symptoms are and, possibly, allow them to run tests on you to see if they can pinpoint the cause. Additionally, you can help them by supporting their research financially. Because most of these groups are not-for-profit, they rely on donations to pay for the research they do. The more actively involved you are, the higher the chance of these organizations finding the causes. Once the causes are found, they can begin finding cures.

Finding Cures

Finding cures to sleeping disorders can be a great challenge. When causes are unknown, it is difficult to find a solution. Some diseases, like sleep apnea, are very challenging to find cures for because a person can’t necessarily take a drug to cure a physical ailment. It is difficult to simply find a sleep apnea symptom (until it is too late). Then, there are also sleeping conditions, like psychological insomnia, that doesn’t have a physical cure: it is purely a problem in a person’s mind. The best thing a person can do is, again, to participate in an organization like the ASDA and assist them in finding cures to sleep problems.

Offering Support

Because sleep is so crucial to a healthy human being, losing sleep can cause more than just restlessness. There are many sleep-related problems, such as day dreaming, that can be crippling to a person working full time. When you don’t get enough sleep at night, your brain has a harder time performing neural synapses, you are more prone to stress and depression, your body has less opportunity to eliminate toxins, and your eyes are overly stressed from allowing too much light in without sleep. Therefore, it is nice to be able to go to a group that will allow you to discuss your problems in a friendly, confidential environment.

Additionally, it is especially beneficial because all of these people share your problems, so they can not only relate to you, but they can potentially offer you advice. Finally, it is a great opportunity to make friends and acquaintances.
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What Are The Different Types Of Sleep Disorders?

Millions of people around the world suffer from sleep disorders of one kind or the other. These include trouble in falling asleep or sleeplessness or just staying awake the entire night. Abnormal behavior while sleeping such as sleep walking or fear at night also comes under the category of sleeping disorder. There are various types of sleep disorders that affect individuals both mentally and physically.

1. Insomnia – Insomnia is not a disease but a symptom that is characterized by trouble in falling asleep or marinating sleep. This is caused due to lack in the amount of sleep or the quality of sleep.

There are three types of insomnia –

* Transient Insomnia which lasts from few days to weeks. This is caused by stress, depression, and irregular sleep hour and sleep environment.

* Chronic Insomnia lasts for almost a year. Effects vary according to the cause of its occurrence.

* Acute Insomnia lasts for three weeks to six months. A person is unable to have a sound sleep due to insomnia.

2. Parasomnias – They are other types of sleep disorders which involve unnatural and unusual actions during the sleep. It also includes various emotions, behaviors, dreams and perceptions that take place during the sleep, between sleeping phases or when the person is falling sleep or waking from sleep.

* REM Parasomnias is a disorder where the muscle atonia is absent. This makes the person act according to his or her dreams. This can be disastrous for the patient and the person sleeping next to the patient.

* NREM Parasomnias is also known as slow wave sleep. Under its symptoms the patient is caught between stages of falling asleep and waking from it. Few of NREM Parasomnias occur during childhood but reduce with the growing age.

3. Sleep Apnea – It is one of the many types of sleep disorders in which a person takes a pause of minimum 10 seconds in breathing during the sleep. It is a continuous process. The patient is unaware about this disease until someone else notices its symptoms. Symptoms of sleep apnea are frequent silences, sleepiness, exhaustion, regular awakening and loud snoring. This is a very dangerous disorder found in people. It can even be harmful to the extent that it can cause death.

Reasons of Sleep Disturbance

All of us understand the importance of sleep but there are quite a few reasons that hinder a good sleep. Some of these are,

* Irregular bed time causes physical and mental health problems along with disturbance in sleep. Maintaining a sleeping schedule is not possible by everyone but one has to learn to do so. Quality and quantity equally matters for a good sleep.

* A disturbed and stressed mind will give you no chance to relax. This will result into various types of sleep disorders.

* For a healthy life you require good sleep, exercise and fresh fruits and vegetables. Without these you cannot remain fit.
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Overview Regarding Sleeping Disorders In Children

There are various sleep disorders that are prevalent in children and major part of it can be attributed to their fear of the dark. The children who have fear from the dark suffer from the worse sleep disorder. However, night terrors are the worst condition in which the child gets up screaming in terror to free from a frightening dream.

Various sleep disorders are listed below that lead to many problems in children.

Sleep Talking or Walking: This is one of the most common sleep disorders in children. Medical name of sleep walking is ‘somnambulism’. Though it is not harmful but needs special care on part of the parents for the children so as to provide them a safe and healthy environment. Both the disorders i.e. sleeping with open eyes and talking while sleep may seem weird but there is nothing unusual and usually do not cause any harm to the children.

Bruxism: Bruxism which is gnashing and crushing the teeth at the time of sleep. It is very disturbing and irritating sleep disorder and may end up in causing dental problems in children.

Head Banging or Rolling: Most of the children are head bangers or rollers, particularly when they are lacking sleep. Generally it is a harmless habit and they will grow out of it before they gain maturity.

Bedwetting and Enuresis: Bedwetting is also most widespread sleep disorder in most children. But it is very humiliating as well as embarrassing for children and troublesome for parents particularly when children grow older. This is usually a medical problem and is treated mainly with the doctor’s prescription.

Gastroesophageal Reflux (Or Heartburn): It is also known as heart burn in simple terms and is common in both children and adults. It can be hazardous, especially for children who are sleeping. Actually, in this type of disorder the acids in the stomach might regurgitate into the throat at the time of sleeping. Also, it may be an indication of some underlying medical problem which might need surgery.

Restless Leg Syndrome or Periodic Limb Movement: Both these disorders are very distressing for parents as well as the children. In this the sufferer has an urge to move the leg, which causes insomnia, sleepwalking and night terrors.

Nocturnal Seizures or Nocturnal Asthma: Seizures and asthma are terrifying problems at anytime. Nocturnal seizures and Nocturnal asthma are troublesome for both parents as well as children as they lead to sleep disorder and many other problems. In either of the case, it is essential that the child is taken under a proper medical care.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): It is the deadly and the worst sleep disorder and is abbreviated as SIDS. Due to SIDS many children die and is commonly known as crib death. Its treatment and cause is not much known by doctors.

This is just a brief overview regarding various children sleep disorders. Some of which are not harmful while some may prove deadly, so it is must to seek the help of a qualified practitioner if your child is facing any of the sleep disorders.
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