Lack of sleep link to high blood pressure

04/11/2006 - News

Lack of sleep link to high blood pressure

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


Lack of sleep link to high blood pressure

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

People who sleep six or fewer hours a night are more likely to have high blood pressure.
When we sleep, blood pressure and heart rate go down. People who sleep less tend to have an average 24 hour blood pressure that is somewhat higher than normal. This has been proved by a new report from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study. Researchers at Columbia University studied nearly 5,000 people aged 32 to 86 whose blood pressure started out normal. They were asked how many hours a night they slept and followed up for eight to ten years, during which time 647 of the group developed high blood pressure.

Those who slept five or fewer hours a night tended to have higher blood pressure than those who slept seven or more hours. They were also more likely to have a higher body mass index and to exercise less – both of which would tend to increase blood pressure. They were also more likely to have diabetes or depression. Previous work has linked sleep deprivation to increased appetite and insulin resistance. Clearly a good night’s sleep is important for health – not least for keeping blood pressure under control.

Hypertension April 2006

Created on: 04/11/2006
Reviewed on: 04/11/2006

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