Lack of Sleep May Lead to High Blood Pressure
Research shows they face double the risk of getting the condition, compared to those who have the recommended eight hours.
The reason is thought to be that the heart of a person who stays awake has to work harder for longer, causing blood pressure to rise.
If high blood pressure is left untreated, it can lead to serious and potentially fatal problems, including heart attacks ...
The new study, published in the journal Hypertension, looked at almost 5,000 people whose blood pressure was normal.
American researchers noted how much they slept each night, and around a decade later, recorded how many had developed high blood pressure. They found 24 percent of those aged between 32 and 59 who had five hours or less [of] sleep each night had blood pressure problems.
By contrast, just 12 percent of those who had seven or eight hours of sleep each night had the condition.
Lead researcher James E. Gangwisch, from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York, said, "Sleep allows the heart to slow down and blood pressure to drop for a significant part of the day. 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." He said the main message from the study is clear: "A good night's sleep is very important for good health."