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Recent research indicates that insufficient sleep, less than seven hours per night, may lead to elevated blood pressure over time, increasing the risk of hypertension.

Insufficient sleep is a risk factor for hypertension

Researchers conducted a comprehensive analysis, pooling data from 16 studies spanning from January 2000 to May 2023, involving 1,044,035 individuals from six countries. The studies evaluated the relationship between sleep patterns and high blood pressure incidence. None of the participants had a history of high blood pressure over five years, and follow-up was done 2.4 to 18 years later. The analysis aimed to clarify inconsistencies in prior evidence regarding this relationship.

The study found a strong link between insufficient sleep and an increased risk of high blood pressure, even after adjusting for various factors such as gender, age, BMI, and smoking. The risk is particularly heightened for individuals who sleep less than five hours per night.

Dr. Kaveh Hosseini, an assistant professor of cardiology at the Tehran Heart Center, said that insufficient sleep, defined as less than seven hours a day, increases the risk of developing high blood pressure in the future. The study found a correlation between longer sleep durations and a higher occurrence of high blood pressure, although this trend was not statistically significant. Dr. Hosseini suggests that getting seven to eight hours of sleep, as recommended by sleep experts, may be optimal for heart health.

Less than 7hours of sleep linked to 7% increase in hypertension risk

According to the study, insufficient sleep, less than seven hours per night, is linked to a 7% higher risk of hypertension. This risk increases to 11% if sleep duration falls below five hours. To provide context, the risk increase from inadequate sleep is lower compared to that from diabetes or smoking, which raise hypertension risk by at least 20%.

The study found a link between disrupted sleep and increased risk of hypertension, although it didn’t explore the reasons behind it. Factors such as lifestyle habits, co-morbid conditions, and sleep disorders could contribute. Surprisingly, there were no age-based differences in this association, despite sleep patterns typically changing with age.