Insufficient Sleep Raises Nighttime Blood Pressure

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Prolonged periods of inadequate sleep are linked to nighttime increases in blood pressure, according to results from a small study presented at the 64th Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology in San Diego.

The study included eight healthy participants aged 19 to 36 for a 16-day inpatient trial. The first four days were an acclimation period. For the next nine days, participants were assigned to either sleep restriction (four hours of sleep a night) or normal sleep (nine hours of sleep a night). This was followed with a three-day recovery period. The researchers regularly monitored participants’ blood pressure during the duration of the study.

Usually, blood pressure decreases at night, but the researchers found that it rose during the restricted sleep period. The average blood pressure readings in the restriction period were 115/64 mm/Hg compared with normal sleep readings of 105/57 mm/Hg. Additionally, the researchers found that participants in the sleep restriction phase had higher nighttime heart rates than those in the normal sleep phase.

Insufficient sleep has previously been tied to a variety of health problems, including diabetes, obesity, depression, cancer, premature death, and reduced quality of life. Lack of sleep is also linked to increased risk for motor vehicle accidents, industrial disasters, and medical/occupational errors.

Insufficient Sleep Raises Nighttime Blood Pressure

Having prolonged periods of insufficient sleep is linked to significant increases in blood pressure during nighttime hours.

This was the finding of a small study from Mayo Clinic that was presented at the 64th Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology in San Diego on Sunday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic in the US. Insufficient sleep is linked to motor vehicle accidents, industrial disasters and medical and other occupational errors. People who do not get enough sleep are also at higher risk for chronic diseases such as high blood pressure,diabetes, obesity and depression, as well as cancer, premature death and reduced quality of life and productivity.

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