Many people struggle to get to sleep at night, but experts have found that not being able to nod off could be a warning sign of a silent killer.
Around 40 percent of Brits and Americans are thought to suffer with high, or borderline high cholesterol levels.
High cholesterol happens when you have too much of a fatty substance in your blood.
The NHS states that high cholesterol does not cause symptoms and the only way you can find out if you have it is through a test.
Things like your age, weight and other conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes can also contribute to your risk of high cholesterol.
Dr. Don Grant clinical lead at The Independent Pharmacy said previous studies have shown links to sleeping issues and high cholesterol.
He explained that Michael Grandner, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona noted the connection in 2014 in a study published in the Sleep Journal.
Patients who participated in the study were assessed on their lifestyle habits as well as their sleep duration and whether or not they snored.
Their lipid levels were also measured and this is what indicates levels of good and bad cholesterol.
It found that people who slept for less than six hours each night were more likely to have LDL which is bad cholesterol.
High cholesterol has links to heart disease and the researchers said that the study confirmed that a lack of sleep was linked to this.
However, Grandner did state that it wasn’t clear whether or not this was down to cause and effect or if the association with sleep and cholesterol was ‘just a coincidence’.
He said: “However, with there being a connection between these issues, it’s not unreasonable to say that if people do have problems getting to sleep or staying asleep then they may wish to consider getting a blood test to establish if they have high cholesterol.”
“It’s certainly better than the alternative of people discovering they have high cholesterol when they experience a heart attack or stroke”.
There aren’t symptoms of high cholesterol and Grant said that means that the medical and scientific world cannot make conclusive statements on the lesser-known symptoms of high cholesterol.
He added: “What can be said definitely and conclusively is that having a blood test will reveal if someone has high cholesterol.”
“The blood test for checking high cholesterol is very simple and extremely accurate. A GP or nurse takes a blood sample. The blood is then tested for its levels of good cholesterol and bad cholesterol.”
“High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is good cholesterol. Non-HDL cholesterol (all your cholesterol minus the HDL) is bad cholesterol”.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.
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