For the people who find divorce so traumatizing that they lose sleep over it, beware, as it can lead to increased blood pressure, which can cause early death, suggests a new study.
In a research done at the University of Arizona, co-author Doctor David Sbarra found that though sleep issues were normal in the initial few months after a separation, as it was an adjustment process, if it persists for a longer period, it may mean depression and such people are particularly susceptible to health problems, the Daily Express reported.
Dr Sbarra said they found changes in resting blood pressure were associated with sleep problems 3 months earlier. Earlier sleep problems predicted increases in resting blood pressure over time.
He added that after 10 or so weeks - after some sustained period of time "there seemed to be a cumulative bad effect."
He also said that the increase should not be taken lightly for people who already have high blood pressure, as "each standard deviation increase in sleep complaints corresponded to a roughly six unit increase in subsequent systolic blood pressure."
Systolic is the top blood pressure number and measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats; diastolic is the bottom number and measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats. Normal blood pressure is around 120/80.
Lead study author Kendra Krietsh suggested that people who have persistent difficulties sleeping after a divorce should seek cognitive behavioural therapy, making daily schedule adjustments that promote healthy sleep, or finding new ways to relax at bedtime.
The study is published in the journal Health Psychology.