Divorce is a troubling issue for many people, often causing individuals to lose sleep due stress and sadness. Researchers from the University of Arizona are suggesting that those sleep problems not be ignored if they continue over time, as they increase the risk of hypertension.
Published in the journal Health Psychology, their study may be able to answer why there are so many negative health risks connected to divorce, including an early death.
138 participants were analyzed by researchers who had been divorced or physically separated from their spouse for about 16 weeks before the start date of the study. Each participant visited a sleep lab 3 times over a 7 ½ month period, where they reported their sleep quality based on the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index and had their blood pressure taken. Factors such as snoring, tossing and turning, difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep were all taken into account all along with other nighttime issues.
While no initial issue with blood pressure was found in connection to sleep issues, there was a delayed increase in blood pressure after 10 weeks. The longer sleep issues lasted after a separation, the more likely a person’s blood pressure would be affected.
According to study co-author and University of Arizona associate professor of psychology David Sbarra, “Each standard deviation increase in sleep complaints corresponded to a roughly six unit increase in subsequent systolic blood pressure.”
Persistent sleep issues should never been ignored as they increase serious health risks and can also affect your work, relationships, driving ability and so much more as research has proven. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a great option for people who find their sleep being impacted by divorce, as well as improving sleep hygiene and taking up meditation.