People who find it hard to sleep may have an increased chance of developing heart failure, a new study has revealed.
Scientists stress that they have only found an association and cannot be sure there is a causal link, but they suspect insomnia may trigger stress responses that affect the heart.
People with three insomnia symptoms: trouble falling asleep, problems staying asleep and not waking up refreshed in the morning, were three time more likely to suffer from heart failure, according to the Norwegian study of more than 50,000 people. Dr Lars Laugsand explained:
"We found that persons suffering from insomnia have an increased risk of having heart failure. Those reporting suffering from all three insomnia symptoms simultaneously were at considerably higher risk than those who had no symptoms or only one or two symptoms"
Dr Laugsand said further research was needed to establish why the link occurred, and stressed the need for better treatment for insomnia.