A new study, which was published in the European respiratory journal, has discovered that adults who suffer from insomnia, are at higher risk of developing asthma.
Asthma is a respiratory condition characterised by attacks of spasm in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing.
It is usually connected with allergic reaction or hypersensitivity to the environment.
The long-term study was carried out by researchers from Trondheim University Hospital and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
The researchers discovered that insomnia was common among asthma patients.
Before now, smoking, obesity and air pollution had been linked to asthma, but depression and anxiety have now been added to the list of likely causes of the respiratory condition.
Researchers analysed data from 17,927 respondents between the ages of 20 and 65.
They were asked about the ease or difficulty in falling/staying asleep so as to assess their sleep quality and were also asked about asthma symptoms at the start and end of the study period.
Results showed that people who often had problems with sleep over the course of a month had a 65% risk of developing asthma in 11 years.
This figure increased to 108% in respondents who had problems with sleep on a nightly basis.
Respondents, who had problems with sleep more than once a week, had a 94% risk of developing asthma.
Ben Brumpton, the researcher who led the study, said the results “suggests that any changes in the body due to insomnia may accumulate and result in more severe harmful effects on the airways.”
“Insomnia, defined as having difficulties initiating or maintaining sleep, or having poor sleep quality, is common among asthma patients, but whether insomnia patients have a higher risk of developing asthma at a later stage has not been thoroughly investigated,” said Linn Beate Strand, a sleep researcher who helped compile the results.
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