Sleepless nights can bring on asthma in adulthood – more than trebling the risk among chronic insomniacs, new research suggests.
And those who struggle to nod off most nights are more than twice as likely to develop the potentially fatal lung condition.
Experts claim insufficient rest causes bodily changes that have harmful effects on the airways – leading to asthma.
Norwegian researchers assessed almost 18,000 adults between the ages of 20 and 65.
Participants were asked to report sleep initiation and maintenance problems as well as poor quality sleep.
While they were also asked to record any asthma symptoms at the start and end of the study.
The results showed those reporting difficulty falling asleep ‘often’ had a 65 per cent increased risk of developing asthma over the next 11 years.
While those who struggled ‘almost every night’ had a 108 per cent increased chance, the study published in the European Respiratory Journal found.
Similarly, those who reported waking too early without being able to go back to sleep ‘often’ had a 92 per cent risk.
And those who suffered the same problem ‘almost every night’ had a 36 per cent increased risk of developing asthma.
For people who reported poor quality sleep more than once a week, the risk of developing asthma increased by 94 per cent.
When the researchers looked at patients with chronic insomnia – those who had reported one or more symptoms at the start and 10 years earlier – they had more than three times the risk of developing asthma.
Study author Dr Linn Beate Strand, of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, said: ‘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.
‘As insomnia is a manageable condition, an increased focus on the adverse health effects of insomnia could be helpful in the prevention of asthma.
‘Further prospective studies are required to confirm the findings of our study.
Source: Daily Mail