Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Short sleep duration linked to high blood pressure

Short sleep durations over a prolonged period appears to be an important and potentially modifiable risk factor for hypertension, according to a new study.

Among the subjects between 32 and 59 years of age, sleeping less than 6 hours per night raised the risk of hypertension by 2.10-fold, the report indicates. Moreover, this association remained significant after adjusting for obesity and diabetes, which were both hypothesized to be partial mediators of the relationship. the relationship was not observed among people age 60 or older. The differences between the younger and older subjects might be explained by the fact that advanced age is associated with difficulties in falling and staying asleep.

James E. Gangwisch, PhD lead researcher, says, "Sleep allows the heart to slow down and blood pressure to drop for a significant part of the day."

He continues, "However, people who sleep for only short durations raise their average 24-hour blood pressure and heart rate. This may set up the cardiovascular system to operate at an elevated pressure."

We've already seen how a lack of sleep can result in weight gain.

Chronic sleeping problems afflict as many as 70 million Americans, costing the nation billions in medical expenses, accidents and lost productivity, a new study reports.

So, how about getting a good night's sleep? See a recent short video on Getting a Good Night's Rest. (Scroll to the March 27th entry.) Or, check out some healthy sleep TIPS.

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