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How does insomnia affect my risk for accidents?

Poor sleep (including insomnia) can affect health risks, mental and physical well-being, performance, quality of life, and even accidental death.

Researchers in Norway undertook a large-scale evaluation of the relationship between symptoms of insomnia and the risk of fatal accidental injury. Their study included 54,399 men and women between 20 and 89. Researchers collected data over a 14-year period about the presence of insomnia symptoms including problems falling asleep, trouble staying asleep and experiencing poor quality sleep.

The researchers' analysis showed that insomnia was an important factor in the risk of an accidental fatal injury, which included both car accidents and other injuries like falls or drowning. As insomnia symptoms increased, so did the risk for both fatal injury and fatal motor vehicle accidents.

Among motor vehicle deaths, the effect of getting good quality sleep was dramatic:
  • One-third of deaths could have been prevented if people didn’t have trouble falling asleep.
  • One in 10 deaths could have been prevented if people didn’t have trouble staying asleep.
  • One in 10 deaths could have been prevented if people slept well overall.

This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.