Home Health Less sleep tampers with heart health just like smoking

Less sleep tampers with heart health just like smoking


Every morning before waking up, I usually ensure that I go through my social media accounts to  find out the most trending topic  as well as what my friends have posted.

Insomnia is a condition where one experiences difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep even when one feels sleepy: Photo / Courtesy

Last Monday, reading through various post on Facebook, I came across a post by Liz Njeri, reading “3.38am and no sleep. I am having insomnia.” I was curious to know more about insomnia.

Defining insomnia
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According to Sleep Foundation Organization, insomnia is a condition where one experiences difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep even when one feels sleepy.

It is more common in adults. Some studies show that parents who have children in their households are reported to be having higher insomnia symptoms than those who do not have.

Statistics from the National Institute of Health estimate that close to 30 percent of the general population complain of sleep disruption.

Depending on the duration it lasts, insomnia can be classified either as acute or chronic.

Types of insomnia

Chronic insomnia occurs at least three times in a week and last for a minimum of three months.

The cause of this type of insomnia is attributed to change in the environment, clinical disorders, unhealthy sleeping habits, shift work among other causes.

Acute insomnia, on the other hand, is short-lived, brought about by life circumstances such as receiving bad news, anxiety, night before an interview, new work place or facing disciplinary panel.

Almost everyone will experience this type of sleep disruption in their life.


A night of insomnia will be followed by a hard day which one cannot hide from others, no matter what.

People with Insomnia will experience weariness and tiredness during the day which my result to decrease in performance at work place or school.

Day sleeping that may come with headache may be experienced as well.

National Sleep Foundation notes that there is no test that can be carried out to measure or diagnose insomnia.

However, a doctor can use various mechanism such as requesting you to fill in a questionnaire and do an overnight sleep study to diagnose and measure insomnia symptoms.

Such mechanism will help in understanding the experience with insomnia and the route to follow in finding a lasting solution.

Danger of less sleep

In 2015, a team from World Health Organization, researching on cardiovascular diseases warned that poor sleep and sleep disorders tampers with the heart health just like smoking and lack of exercise does.

Lack of sleep increases the risks of heart attack and stroke, revealed the team. During the time of the study, the men who were dealing with sleep disorders had a heart attack that was 2 to 2.6 times higher than their peers without any issues.

The study also established that two-thirds of the group who had a heart attack had a sleeping disorder.

Understanding the cause is the first step in identifying the solution to every problem. Certain lifestyle habits that contribute to insomnia or lack of sleep can easily be controlled and avoided.

By Joseph Macharia

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