New studies suggest that poor sleep—either insomnia, trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, or not having enough good quality sleep (too few hours or poor quality)—can cause you to have elevated blood pressure, and increase your risk of having suicidal thoughts.
Your chance of having hypertension (high blood pressure) is five times more likely if you sleep poorly on a regular basis.
Your chance of having suicidal thoughts, planning suicide, or actually attempting suicide is almost twice as likely if you sleep poorly on a regular basis.
Researchers also found an increased likelihood of suicide related to poor sleep that was independent of other mental health risk factors such as depression or anxiety.
Factors that can contribute to poor sleep include:
- Sleep apnea
- Restless leg syndrome
- Bruxism, or teeth grinding
- Too much caffeine
- Lack of exercise
- Eating too close to bedtime
- Being 60 or older
- Anxiety and stress
- Being female (possibly because of hormonal shifts, women are more prone to insomnia than men)
Bottom line: If you are not sleeping well, seek medical help to determine the reasons why so you can begin to get the sleep you need.