Beware – lack of sleep increases blood pressure at night

According to a recent research, lack of proper sleep from a long time might make you susceptible to heart disease by increasing your blood pressure levels in the night. The study conducted under the guidance of Naima Covassin from Mayo Clinic in the US. The lead author said that for the first time demonstrated that insufficient sleep causes night time blood pressure to spike up, which is one of the major risk factors for heart disease.

How was the study carried out?

In this study, eight healthy normal weight participants in the age group of 19 to 36 participated. The study was conducted in a 16-day in-patient protocol consisting of a four-day acclimation period. This was followed by nine days of either sleep restriction (four hours of sleep per night) or normal sleep (nine hours of sleep per night) and three days of recovery. Twenty four blood pressure monitorings at regular intervals were measured at each study phase. Here s how to use a home blood pressure monitor.

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What did the results indicate?

The researchers found that blood pressure readings during night time, in the sleep restriction phase compared to normal sleep phase were different. The systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure averaged 115/64 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) versus 105/57 mm Hg respectively.

Furthermore, the expected fall in blood pressure during the night was suppressed when the people had inadequate sleep. They also found that night time heart rate was higher with sleep restriction than in normal sleep. The study findings are scheduled to be presented at the American College of Cardiology's 64th Annual Scientific Session in San Diego on March 15. Read about hypertension -- causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

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