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Lack of Deep Sleep (From Sleep Apnea) Can Cause High Blood Pressure

Posted Sep 02 2011 7:20am

If you don’t sleep well or are sleep deprived, you know what that feels like: you’re more likely to be unenergetic, unfocused, unproductive, and unmotivated. Lack of sleep in general is already an epidemic in this country, and there are studies that show that lack of specific stages of sleep can contribute to certain types of symptoms. Sleep deprivation is also tied to an increased risk of hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and early death. Researchers from Harvard have now confirmed that lack of non-REM deep sleep is associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure. Furthermore, people who lacked deep sleep were more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea.

We’ve known for years that people who lack the normal blood pressure “dipping” phenomenon at night are at increased risk for high blood pressure during the day. People with sleep apnea are known to lack this blood pressure dip at night. It’s thought that increased physiologic stress responses from activation of of your sympathetic nervous system may the the cause. As your throat muscles begin to relax in deeper levels sleep, apneas are more likely to occur. 

This study emphasis that point that despite sleeping 8 to 9 hours, if you’re not getting quality (deep) sleep, it can can still be detrimental to hour health.


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