A new study suggests that poor sleep doesn’t impact cholesterol levels. The exception to the findings was seen in individuals who take sleeping pills to treat insomnia. Researchers have believed that insomnia increased the risk of heart disease due to factors like high cholesterol as it has been seen in sleep apnea.
To conduct their study, researchers reviewed data of over 19,000 people and found 11 percent had elevated LDL cholesterol, 22 percent had good HDL cholesterol, and just a bit over 16 percent had high triglycerides.
The researchers found that abnormal cholesterol levels were similar in those with insomnia and without insomnia. On the other hand, patients who took sleeping pills to treat their insomnia were 118 percent more likely to have elevated LDL cholesterol, compared to those who did not.
Study author Dr. Nicholas Vozoris said, “The observed link between sleeping pill use and elevated LDL cholesterol is particularly concerning, given the dramatic rise in the use of sedative medicine in the general population in recent years.”
The researchers suggest that individuals who require sleeping pills may have more extreme insomnia that could contribute to higher cholesterol levels. And although the study only revealed an association between sleeping pills for insomnia and cholesterol, it did not prove cause and effect.