According to a column written by Dr. Oz in the February 2014 issue of Oprah Magazine, doctors are now learning that some seemingly temporary health issues, such as insomnia, may contribute to serious problems down the road. According to research presented at a 2012 American Heart Association conference, insomniacs are twice as likely to suffer a stroke as people who don't have trouble sleeping. Researchers believe that as a person's sleep deficit rises, so does her blood pressure, which over time can lead to inflammation of vascular walls. And it doesn't take long for the negative effects of insomnia to set in: blood pressure can shoot up after even a single night of inadequate sleep. For sounder slumber, try turning on a white noise machine. A small 2012 study found that a blend of sound frequencies can help calm brain waves, leading to 23 percent more restful sleep.
If you know that a medical condition is not the cause of your sleeplessness, perhaps it is something as simple as an uncomfortable mattress, too much caffeine or nicotine, loud external noises, or too much stress and worry. Of these varied factors, a disturbing environment, such as attempting to rest in a room that’s too noisy can affect your sleep and might be one of the easiest to solve— use a white noise machine to mask traffic noise, people's footsteps or voices, barking dogs, or industrial machines.
Although insomnia is a serious sleep disorder that affects a tremendous number of people every night, you may “rest assured” that it can be both treated and cured– quite often by simply monitoring bedtime habits and making the necessary adjustments. If modest changes to your nightly ritual (not eating too much right before bed, not exercising within two hours of trying to sleep, not watching scary movies or reading exciting books) do not have the desired effect, try a white noise machine. A constant, steady background sound may be just the thing to lull you to dreamland... and avoid the risk of having a stroke later in life.