Studies have shown that people who have less than 6 hours of sleep per night increases the risk for high blood pressure. Waking up frequently, not falling asleep easily, or having any other issues can also lead to risk for high blood pressure.
A recent study of older men showed that those who got the least amount of sleep were 80% more likely to develop high blood pressure than those who got long, continued hours.
Experts often refer to slow wave sleep as the time when the body is restoring its energy reserves: blood pressure goes down, breathing slows, and the heart rate drops. People usually fall into deep sleep earlier in the night. If your blood pressure does not decrease while you’re asleep, it may lead to damaged blood vessels. Too little sleep may cause parts of the brain that control the release of a number of hormones and other substances related to maintaining proper blood pressure to work less efficiently.
For blood pressure, “sleep quality is something to pay attention to,” explains Dr. Susan Redline, Professor of Sleep Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School in Boston. “Just as one would pay attention to your diet and physical activity levels.”
If you are experiencing insomnia or other sleep troubles, make sure to consult your doctor and find out about specific treatments.