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Shortened Sleep Duration Causes Persistent Elevation In Blood Pressure In Women

A study has discovered that shortened sleep duration causes persistent elevation in 24-hour and sleep-time blood pressure, and this elevation is especially pronounced and sustained in women.

Shortened Sleep Duration Causes Persistent Elevation In Blood Pressure In Women
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Can Lack of Sleep Cause High Blood Pressure?

Lack of sleep can cause high blood pressure. Experts suggest that adults should get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Having 6 hours of sleep or less is bad for your overall health. Being stressed out, shift or work schedule, jet lag, and other sleep interruptions or disturbances increases your likelihood to develop cardiovascular disease and risk factors for heart disease – such obesity and diabetes. Sleep deprivation can lead to an elevated blood pressure or high blood pressure (hypertension) that can affect both children and adults.

Individuals who sleep 6 hours or less will have higher blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure or hypertension, not having enough sleep will only worsen your hypertension or blood pressure.

Sleeping helps your body control the hormones required to regulate stress and metabolism. Lack of sleep causes swings in hormones and leads to high blood pressure and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

It is not recommended that you try to make up for a lack of sleep with a lot of sleep. Getting too much sleep, can lead to high blood sugar and weight gain, which is also bad for your heart health. It is suggested that you consult your health care professional for tips on getting a good sleep especially when you have hypertension.

What Causes Lack of Sleep?

One of the causes for lack of sleep that is contributing to high blood pressure or the development of hypertension is obstructive sleep apnea – it is a sleep disorder where a person repeatedly stop and start breathing during sleep. Consult your doctor if you feel tired even after a full night’s sleep, especially if you snore. An obstructive sleep apnea may be the cause behind sleeping concern. The obstructive sleep apnea increases your risk of developing high blood pressure or hypertension and other cardiovascular-related problems.

Lack of Sleep Increases Blood Pressure in Women

Group of experts evaluated the impact of prolonged sleep restriction on 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure and other cardiovascular measures. Experts randomized 20 healthy young participants with average age of 23.4 years, 9 were females – to undergo a 16-day inpatient study, which included 4 days of acclimation, 9 days of sleep restriction (4 hours of sleep/night) or control sleep (9 hours), and 3 days of recovery.

The participants adhered a weight maintenance diet with controlled nutrient composition throughout the trial. They were on continuous polysomnographic monitoring and underwent repeated measurements of 24-hour blood pressure, the primary outcome, and cardiovascular biomarkers.

Comparing with control sleep, sleep restriction came out in a marked increase in 24-hour blood pressure at day 12, attenuation in endothelial function, and rise in plasma norepinephrine.

Moreover, with the sleep restriction group, blood pressure was elevated while asleep and during recovery despite an increased deep sleep.

The post hoc analysis revealed that 24-hour blood pressure, wakefulness, and sleep blood pressure elevated during experimental and recovery phases of sleep restriction in women but not in men. Female participants revealed an increase of 8.0 mm/Hg in 24-hour systolic blood pressure and 11.3 mm/Hg in sleep systolic blood pressure.

Outcomes recommend that women are more vulnerable to the adverse cardiovascular effects of sleep loss or sleep deprivation.


Source: Hypertension 2021;doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.121.17622

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