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January 20, 2012 at 9:44 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Researchers Say That Insomnia Can Have a Major Impact On Health

By E.M. Wollof from SLN More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the A New Itch Blog Series

"Insomnia has traditionally been trivialized," co-author of the review published in The Lancet, Charles Morin, Ph.D, a sleep researcher and professor at the Universe Laval in Quebec City told the Huffington Post. "Now that we know a little bit more about its long-term consequences, it's getting a bit more attention."

Professional Opinions

The research, led by Morin, has shown that insomnia can cause some serious health issues if not taken care of immediately. The review pointed to a 2002 report that suggested "that insomniacs are more than twice as likely to have congestive heart failure than individuals without the disorder, and five times as likely to have anxiety or depression."

The review also pointed to the fact that those with insomnia are at a higher risk for "substance misuse." That's right, not abuse, just misuse.

The articles I read continue to ramble on for a bit about how not getting sleep can really have an impact on your health. They then point to some treatment options for those who suffer from insomnia, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which is used often in treating anxiety disorders and depression, among other things. Benzodiazepine receptor agonists, another word for anxiety and depression meds, which can lead to substance abuse by patients. That's right ABUSE, not just misuse. Last but not least, hypnotics.

"'There's no single treatment that works for everyone,' Morin said, adding that people should not assume sleep problems will take care of themselves, and that health care providers should pay close attention to the various treatment options. 'We should really keep our eyes open.'"

Non-Professional Opinion

I must admit to being absolutely dumb-founded after researching this "discovery." I mean, really? Are we just figuring out now that not getting any sleep is detrimental to overall health, and that not sleeping for an extended period of time is "really" detrimental to our health?

In another article on the same review, they display an excerpt from the review that says, "In view of the high prevalence and substantial morbidities of insomnia, patients should routinely be asked about sleep problems by health-care providers."

I don't know about you, but every time I go into see my doctor for a checkup, he asks, "How have you been sleeping?" I tell him I've been staying up too late, he calls me an idiot, tells me to change my ways, we shake hands and I leave. Point being, he asks me the same question every time, the fact that I choose to ignore his advice is my fault, not his. If I were a health professional and I saw a "professional article" like this coming out, telling me how to care for my patients, I think I would develop a rage twitch.

Bottom line, sleep is important, just in case you were confused about that point. If you have insomnia, get help, just in case you were also confused about the fact that you feel like a zombie when you don't sleep.

See you next week...


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