Blood Pressure and sleep

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woman sleeping on bed under blankets

The early bird catches the worm, but sleeping in could lower your blood pressure. A good night’s sleep might help control hypertension, as suggested by a study that has explored for the first time the effects of a healthy sleeping pattern on blood pressure. Several studies have proven that good sleep is beneficial for your health, and it is good for your blood pressure too. A relationship has often been hypothesized between lack of sleep and increased risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and strokes. The effects of a lack of sleep have long been proven, but a relationship between sleep and blood pressure had yet to be investigated. This gap was filled by a group of researchers at Harvard Medical School in Boston (USA) led by Dr. Monika Haack, who conducted a study and published the results in the Journal of Sleep Research. The study was carried out on 22 middle aged men and women in a pre-hypertensive condition, whereby the blood pressure values, though not dangerously high, showed signs of becoming hypertensive. These volunteers were interviewed about their lifestyle and sleeping habits and all claimed to sleep 7 hours or less per night. After a 6 week study, the scientists once again collected blood pressure measurements and analyzed sleeping patterns, discovering that among those who had slept longer hours in that period of time, the blood pressure values had dropped by between 8 and 14 mmHg when compared to the control group who had not modified their sleeping habits. “These preliminary results should be interpreted with caution”, state the authors “but from future investigation it should be possible to observe if an increase in sleeping hours could be an effective strategy in helping to treat hypertension”. Lets therefore try and sleep a little better to lower our high blood pressure and improve our health.
Click here to read the original article (italian language).