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"Is Lack of Sleep Shortening Your Lifespan? Exploring the Link Between Insomnia and Longevity"

Sleep deprivation shares similarities with physical stress or illness in its impact on the immune system, potentially heightening the risk of hypertension and heart disease. Notably, transitions to daylight saving time witness a documented 10% surge in heart attacks, subsiding when standard time resumes.

Lack of sleep is linked to an increased risk of numerous chronic diseases, including heart disease. Compared to those who regularly sleep seven to eight hours, those who sleep less have a 27% higher likelihood of suffering from subclinical atherosclerosis (the early stages of artery hardening and narrowing), according to a 2019 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. According to José M. Ordovás Ph.D, we should include sleep as one of the weapons we use to combat heart disease. Insomnia increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. By modifying habits to improve the severity of insomnia, individuals can subsequently reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke subtypes.

"It is important to identify the underlying reason for insomnia and treat it,"

Larsson stated. A 2017 scientific review of available evidence presents some possible mechanisms through which insomnia or poor sleep influences heart health, the main ones being dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis (which not only increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases but also insulin resistance, diabetes, anxiety, and depression), increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) which increases the release of cortisol and other hormones associated with hyperexcitability, particularly adrenocorticotropic hormone), abnormal modulation of the autonomic nervous system, increased atherogenesis (identifiable through increases in inflammatory markers such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin 6, PCR). Poor sleep is also associated with an increased risk of insulin resistance, and this is yet another mechanism through which insomnia can promote diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Restorative sleep also influences hormonal regulation and brain detoxification, further reinforcing its importance for overall health and longevity and may reduce the risk of depression and Alzheimer's onset.

However, adopting a holistic approach that integrates psychotherapy, healthy nutrition and tailored medications offers multifaceted benefits. Psychotherapy aids in uncovering and addressing underlying psychological issues such as stress, anxiety or depression that may disrupt sleep patterns. Meanwhile, a balanced diet rich in nutrients supports overall health and can contribute to better sleep quality.

Moreover incorporating tailored medications, when necessary, can provide targeted relief from specific sleep-related symptoms or conditions, as long as done under the guidance of healthcare professionals. This comprehensive approach addresses both psychological and physiological factors contributing to insomnia and related health risks.

Lifestyle modifications such as regular exercise, minimizing screen time before bed, and establishing a consistent sleep schedule also play crucial roles in promoting healthy sleep habits.

In conclusion, lifestyle modifications such as regular exercise, minimising screen time before bed, and establishing a consistent sleep schedule also play crucial roles in promoting healthy sleep habits. Embracing a holistic approach that combines physiotherapy, psychotherapy, healthy nutrition and personalised medications offers a robust strategy for managing insomnia and reducing the risk of cardiovascular issues in the long term. By addressing the root causes and implementing targeted interventions, individuals can optimise their sleep health and overall well-being.


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