Researchers, who studied a group of people who had been hospitalised for heart failure, found that the risk of hospitalisation was more than double in patients with continued sleep problems.
Dr Peter Johansson, a heart failure nurse in Sweden and author of the study, said: 'Sleep is important for everyone and we all have to Sleep to feel good. We know that sleep problems are common among patients with heart failure. But until now there was no data on whether poor sleep persists over time and how that relates to hospitalisations.'
Over 40% of heart failure patients have sleep problems when they leave hospital and one third continue to suffer for up to 12 months afterwards.
Doctors are concerned about the link between poor sleep and the number of people returning to hospital.
Dr Johansson said: 'Our finding that consistently poor sleep leads to twice as many hospitalisations in patients with heart failure underlines the impact that sleep can have on health.'
Health professionals want to highlight the importance of a health sleep routine for everyone. Dr Johanson added: 'Patients may have poor sleep hygiene, which means they do things that prevent them from getting a good night’s sleep. These include drinking coffee or too much alcohol late at night, having a bedroom that is too hot or too cold, or having upsetting conversations before going to bed.'
One night of poor sleep is nothing to be concerned about and we must understand that our sleep patterns change with age, but prolonged problems may need further investigation.
But what causes this increased risk? Studies have shown that poor sleep increases levels of stress hormones and inflammation, both of which are linked to heart failure.
Dr Johansson suggest that a bad night sleep isn't always a sign of heart failure problems: 'Alternatively it could be a signal that patients have other problems like sleep apnoea or psychological distress that are keeping them awake.'
Top Tips to Ensure You Have a Healthy Sleep Routine:
-Cut out the coffee.
-Lose the booze.
-Turn down the temperature.
-Avoid upset before bedtime.