Thirteen to forty-four percent of patients with coronary heart
disease report comorbid insomnia and population studies have shown
that chronic sleep disturbance is associated with an increased risk of
developing cardiovascular disease.
Most researchers believe that insomnia is linked to cardiovascular
health in two different ways: (1) directly, through physical changes
and (2) indirectly, through behavioral factors. Physical changes
include increased blood pressure, appetite, inflammation, and other
bodily stress reactions. Common behavioral factors are low mood, low
motivation, and cognitive difficulties that can negatively impact
decision-making about healthy behaviors.
Some sleep disturbance is a normal part of life. For example, child
care, taking care of an acutely ill family member, and occasional
stress-related insomnia are expected disturbances. Chronic sleep
problems are those that occur most nights, or every night, for months