OCT 18, 2023 1:00 PM PDT

Insomnia Linked to High Blood Pressure in Women

WRITTEN BY: Savannah Logan

A new study published in the journal Hypertension has shown that women who have difficulty falling or staying asleep and women who have short sleep duration are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure.

The study included over 66,000 participants who did not have hypertension (high blood pressure) at the start of the study. The participants were followed for 16 years and assessed for hypertension every two years. Information on the participants was collected, including age, race, body mass index (BMI), diet, physical activity levels, and more. During the study, participants’ sleeping difficulties and sleep durations were also monitored.

After analyzing the data, the results showed that women who had sleeping troubles tended to have higher BMIs, poorer diets, and less physical activity than women who did not have sleeping troubles. Participants with sleep difficulties were also more likely to smoke and drink alcohol.

The results of the blood pressure monitoring showed that women who slept less than 7–8 hours per night were significantly more likely to develop high blood pressure than those in the 7–8-hour range. Longer sleep durations of 9 or more hours did not show a statistically significant difference. Women who sometimes or usually had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep were also significantly more likely to develop high blood pressure than those who rarely had those issues. Waking up early in the morning was not associated with higher risk.

The American Heart Association has added sleep to its list of keys to improving and maintaining heart health, and sleep is an important component of overall health that is often overlooked. To improve sleep quality, be sure to keep your bedroom dark and cool, go to bed and wake up at around the same time every day, and avoid caffeine before bed.

Sources: Hypertension, Science Daily

About the Author
Doctorate (PhD)
Savannah (she/her) is a scientific writer specializing in cardiology at Labroots. Her background is in medical writing with significant experience in obesity, oncology, and infectious diseases. She has conducted research in microbial biophysics, optics, and education. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.
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