Not Sleeping Enough May Raise Blood Pressure
Middle-aged adults who get too little sleep are more likely to develop high blood pressure. Missing just one hour of sleep a night over five years raises risk of high blood pressure by 37 percent.
“People who didn’t sleep as much were at greater risk of developing hypertension over five years,” Kristen Knutson of the University of Chicago reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine on Monday.
Adults typically should sleep between seven and nine hours a night, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Sleeping too little has different negative health affects depending on age. In children, lack of sleep has been shown to raise rates of obesity, depression and high blood pressure. In older adults, it increases the risk of falls. And in the middle-aged, it raises the risk of infections, heart disease, stroke, cancer and high blood pressure.
The team studied 578 adults with an average age of 40. They took blood pressure readings and measured how long each person slept. Only 1 percent slept eight hours or more.
The study participants on average slept six hours. Each hour of lost sleep raised the risk of high blood pressure.
“If you compare six hours of sleep to five hours of sleep, the five-hour sleepers will have 37 percent greater odds of developing hypertension,” Knutson said.
Men, especially African American men, slept less then Caucasian women.
“These two observations suggested the intriguing possibility that the well-documented higher blood pressure in African Americans and men might be partly related to sleep duration,” Knutson and colleagues wrote.