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Insomnia increases risk of death from accidental injuries

Filed in
  • Insomnia
  • CDC Healthy Sleep

By Lynn Celmer  |  Nov 06, 2014
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New research links insomnia to a higher risk of deadly accidents such as falls and car crashes.

The study involved more than 54,000 men and women. They completed a health survey that included questions about their sleep.  The study tracked them for an average of about 13 years.

Results show that there were 277 deaths from accidental injuries during the study period. These included 169 deaths from falls and 57 deaths from car accidents.

The risk of death from an accidental injury increased in people who reported insomnia symptoms. People with all three insomnia symptoms had the highest risk. They were almost three times more likely to die from a fatal injury than people with no symptoms of insomnia.

“Healthy sleep is essential for physical health, mental well-being, and personal and public safety,” said Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler. “Sleep is a necessity, not a luxury.” He is president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and a spokesperson for the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project.

Having trouble falling asleep was the insomnia symptom with the strongest link to accidental death. People who almost always had trouble falling asleep were 2.4 times more likely to die from a motor vehicle injury. They also were 1.5 times more likely to die from any type of accidental injury.

The CDC reports that unintentional injury is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. Each year more than 126,000 people die from an accidental injury.

Insomnia is the most common sleep complaint. It involves having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. It also occurs when you wake up earlier than desired.

Be sure that you never ignore an ongoing sleep problem. You don’t have to go through life feeling tired, exhausted and frustrated. Help is available. Talk to your doctor. Ask about setting up an appointment with a sleep specialist at an accredited sleep center.

Remember: Sleep is not optional. Your body needs sleep, and your health depends on it. “Sleep Well, Be Well”:  It’s the motto for a healthier lifestyle.

1 Comment

  1. 1 Betty Laseau 10 Nov
    I get 3 hours than wake up with or without  a sleeping aid. Sometimes I can get back to seep around 5 am and sleep to 7 am.  If my sleep is like this for a week I cannot drive or leave the house because I am to un steady.  Non can I exercise because I am exhausted.