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Difficulty Falling Asleep Linked to Higher Risk of Hypertension

Risk up with regularly taking longer than 14 minutes to fall asleep

TUESDAY, Jan. 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic insomniacs who regularly take longer than 14 minutes to fall asleep appear to be at a significantly increased risk for hypertension, according to research published online Jan. 26 in Hypertension.

The study included 219 people with chronic insomnia and 96 normal sleepers. Their average age was 40. They were assessed at West China Hospital, Sichuan University, in Chengdu, China. The researchers tested whether insomnia with physiological hyperarousal measured by Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) was associated with increased risk of hypertension.

The team found that people with chronic insomnia who took longer than 14 minutes to fall asleep had a 300 percent higher risk of hypertension. The longer they took to fall asleep, the greater their risk.

"Insomnia associated with physiological hyperarousal is associated with a significant risk of hypertension," the authors conclude. "Long MSLT values may be a reliable index of the physiological hyperarousal and biological severity of chronic insomnia."

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