Poor Sleep Quality Increases Hypertension Risk

Poor Sleep Quality Increases Hypertension Risk

A lack of deep sleep contributes to high blood pressure.  A new research shows that old men who get the reduced amount of deep sleep were 80% more likely to develop high blood pressure, compared to those who get longer, less interrupted sleep.

Researchers studied 784 men over the age of 65 who didn’t have hypertension.  They were given at-home sleep tests that measured their sleep patterns and non-rapid eye movement sleep, also known as “slow wave sleep,” or deep sleep.  For more than 3 years, researchers monitored the participants’ blood pressure changes.

“Our study shows for the first time that poor quality sleep, reflected by reduced slow wave sleep, puts individuals at significantly increased risk of developing high blood pressure,” explains study author Dr. Susan Redline, MD, Professor of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

She says that too little deep sleep may cause parts of the brain that control the release of hormones and other substances related to maintaining proper blood pressure to work less efficiently, and that if your blood pressure doesn’t drop sufficiently while you’re sleeping, it might damage your blood vessels.  The results were published in the recent issue of Hypertension, a journal of the American Heart Association.

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