Lack of Sleep Increases Blood Pressure At Night Time

People subjected to extended periods of shortened sleep have considerable increases in blood pressure while in nighttime hours, Mayo Clinic investigators report in a small study of 8 participants.

Outcomes of the research were provided Sunday, March 15, at the American College of Cardiology’s 64th Annual Scientific Program.

In this research, 8 healthy, normal weight individuals, ages 19 to 36, took part in a 16-day inpatient protocol, composed of a four-day acclimation period followed by 9 days of either sleep limitation (four hours of sleep per night) or regular sleep (nine hours of sleep per night), and 3 days of recovery. Twenty-four blood pressure monitoring at frequent intervals was assessed at each study phase.

While in the night time, in the sleep limitation phase compared to the regular sleep phase, systolic and diastolic blood pressure averaged 115/64 mm Hg versus 105/57 mm Hg, respectively, investigators found. In addition, the predicted fall in blood pressure while in the night was suppressed when participants had insufficient sleep. They also identified that nighttime heart rate was greater with sleep restriction than in regular sleep.

“We know high blood pressure, especially during the night, is one of the main risk factors for heart disease, and Americans generally do not get sufficient sleep,” states lead author Naima Covassin. “For the initial time, we proven that inadequate sleep leads to raises in nighttime blood pressure and dampens nocturnal blood pressure dropping by using a controlled study that copies the sleep loss experienced by many individuals”.

These are data from an on-going research performed at Mayo Clinic, backed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).