If you’re someone who worries that a lack of sleep is killing you, rest easy.
A study suggests insomniacs are no more likely to die early than those who snooze soundly.
Insomnia affects about a third of Britons every year and has been linked to high blood pressure and diabetes. But a review of 17 studies, taking in almost 37million people, has concluded being unable to sleep does not raise the risk of an untimely death.
Researchers at the Flinders University of South Australia found those with night-time insomnia alone have no extra chance of dying, based on studies following them for up to 28 years.
Those with daytime symptoms, such as fatigue and anxiety, had a slightly higher chance of death but it was not statistically significant.
Sleeping pills may add to your mortality risk, but insomnia does not, the authors state.
Dr Nicole Lovato, lead author at the Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health at the university, said: ‘This knowledge and reassurance may help reduce insomniacs’ anxiety related to this matter and break the cycle of insomnia.’
In the studies reviewed, approximately 10 per cent of participants suffered from insomnia. The overall risk of an early death was just 6 per cent, however, which is not seen as statistically significant.
Other research has shown a link between lack of sleep and life-limiting conditions.
Professor Russell Foster, of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at Oxford University, said: ‘We do know the kind of sleep loss seen in shift workers, even when confounding factors are taken into account, can increase the risk of conditions including cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.’Daily Mail