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Did You Know?: Less Sleep, Higher Blood Pressure

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Air date: July 19, 2009


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Wishard Health Services

Did you Know? is presented by Wishard Health Services, becoming Eskenazi Health in 2014.

I'm Jeremy Shere.

Did you know that not getting enough sleep could raise your blood pressure?

That appears to be the case for middle aged adults. In a recent study, adults who got less than six hours of sleep a night were nearly 40% more likely to develop high blood pressure than people who got six or more hours.

The study was done by researchers at the University of Chicago and took place over five years. It looked at nearly 600 adults with an average age of 40. Overall, only a small percent of the subjects reported getting the 7 to 9 hours of sleep recommended by the CDC. Most averaged around six hours per night.

But those who got even one hour less were significantly more at risk for developing high blood pressure.

The study doesn't explain why less sleep results in higher blood pressure. But other reports have speculated that because blood pressure falls during sleep, less sleep deprives the body of a kind of blood pressure break. And over time, that could lead to overall higher blood pressure.

And now you know.