Insomnia May Increase High Blood Pressure Risk

Feeling like a zombie the next day isn't the only consequence of insomnia -- a new study shows it might also up the odds of developing high blood pressure.

Researchers from the Henry Ford Center for Sleep Disorders found that there was a correlation between having trouble falling asleep and/or waking during the night, and severity of high blood pressure.

"The cause of hypertension in insomniacs is due to the number of times the individual wakes during the night as well as their sleep latency –- the length of time it takes to accomplish the transition from full wakefulness to sleep," study researcher Christopher Drake, associate scientist at the Henry Ford Hospital Sleep Disorders and Research Center, said in a statement.

The study included 5,314 people with insomnia, whose sleep habits were compared with people who don't have insomnia via an online questionnaire. The research is set to be presented at the Sleep 2012 conference next week. Because it is not yet published in a peer-reviewed journal, the findings should be regarded as preliminary.

As many as 10 percent of all Americans have insomnia, according to a report published earlier this year in the journal The Lancet, and almost 25 percent of all Americans are unhappy with their sleep.

The condition is also more prevalent in women than in men, according to a recent briefing hosted by the Society for Women's Health Research.

"Insomnia has traditionally been trivialized," the researcher of the Lancet study, Charles Morin, Ph.D, a sleep researcher and professor at the Universite Laval in Quebec City, told HuffPost. "Now that we know a little bit more about its long-term consequences, it's getting a bit more attention."