TUESDAY August 19,2008â€“A new study shows that teens who don’t sleep enough run the risk of elevated blood pressure.
“It’s the very first study to find these results”, said author Dr. Susan Redline, director at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
“In adults, there has been evidence that less than six hours of sleep a night was associated with high blood pressure levels,” stated Dr. Redline. “No study has yet been done in adolescents.”
The study consisted of 238 boys and girls from 13 to 16 years of age questioning their sleeping patterns. The research found that only 11 percent of them slept less than 6.5 hours a night, and 26 percent had poor “sleep efficiency,” meaning they would wake up frequently throughout the night.
One to every seven teenagers in the study had high blood pressure greater than 120 over 80. Those teens with less than 85 percent sleep efficiency were nearly three times more likely to have high blood pressure, according to the research report.
“That was one of the more unique findings, that poor sleep quality is associated with high blood pressure,” Dr. Redline said.
Although it may be too early to tell, Redline also reported that her research study shows a stronger correlation between high blood pressure and sleep deprivation than being overweight.
If the research continues to be significant, it could eventually influence school system schedules Dr. Stephen R. Daniels, Director at the Children’s Hospital in Denver said. “The changes in the diurnal patterns for adolescents make it harder for them to get up in the morning and to get to sleep at night. If we reorganize the day-night schedule for adolescnets, that could make life easier for them and their parents,” Daniels said.
All the experts in the field seem to agree based on logic. Dr. Richard D. Simon Jr., a director at Kathryn Severyns Dement Sleep Disorders says it all makes biological sense. “Kids as well as adults need to be allowed to sleep enough, ” Simon said. “We do know that in adults, poor sleep and a diminished amount of sleep are associated with obesity and hormone intolerance.”