Not getting a good night’s sleep can make you feel grumpy and tired the following day, but can it also raise your blood pressure?
A group of 578 adults were followed over five years to assess for sleep patterns and blood pressure changes. Shorter sleep duration and poor quality sleep were associated with higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings both at baseline and also over the 5-year follow-up period (Archives of Internal Medicine, June 2009).
Higher blood pressures were seen in males (especially African Americans) that also had the shorter sleep durations. This finding may partially explain the higher incidence and risk for hypertension in African American men.
The current recommendation for adults is 7 hours of sleep per night.
The take home message is to make sure you are getting adequate, restful sleep every night. This will help control blood pressure in those with hypertension and can help prevent the development of hypertension in people with normal blood pressures.