Sleep Deprivation: A Cause of High Blood Pressure

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Sleep deprivation is one of the major causes of high blood pressure and individuals at risk for hypertension should pay close attention to the quality of their nightly slumber.

Studies have shown that high blood pressure can be brought on or worsened by a lack of sleep or a restless night’s rest. However, the exact relationship between the two is still unknown.

In fact, research shows that hypertension risk rises in people who receive less than 6 hours of sleep nightly. And if hypertension is already a problem, inadequate sleep could worsen it.

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Modifying your diet to reduce blood pressure is critical in improving the quantity and quality of your sleep. It can positively impact your high blood pressure.

Continue reading to learn how a lack of sleep can lead to high blood pressure. Also, follow this guide to reduce your blood pressure.

Could Hypertension Be a Result of Insufficient Sleep?

Most individuals probably picture a bad diet loaded with salt and a lack of exercise when they think about high blood pressure.

And if that’s what you’ve suspected could cause your hypertension, you could be on to something.

Besides heredity and chronic renal disease, risk factors for hypertension include smoking, being overweight, leading a sedentary lifestyle, and consuming too much sodium.

However, what about this one issue that is frequently disregarded? Not getting enough sleep.

Hormones like cortisol are regulated during sleep when people don’t get enough shut-eye. The nervous system can’t keep cortisol levels in check, which can contribute to hypertension.

Research at the University of Arizona found that even a single or a few nights of poor sleep might significantly increase systolic blood pressure. They base their research on monitoring participants’ blood pressure before and after sleep deprivation.

Over 300 healthy men and women volunteered and were closely watched overnight to ensure they did not develop any heart problems. This adds to the growing body of research demonstrating sleep’s crucial role in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.

It also links lack of sleep duration to higher nighttime fluctuations in blood pressure.

What Spikes Blood Pressure At Night?

Although those who regularly experience sleep deprivation indeed have a higher risk of hypertension and nocturnal blood pressure fluctuations.

The converse is also true: those who regularly experience high blood pressure might be more susceptible to chronic anxiety, which can contribute to poor sleep.

This is why it is crucial to attend to both the body and the mind simultaneously throughout treatment.

However, nighttime hypertension or hypertensive episodes may indicate a more serious underlying condition. Many sleep specialists believe that high blood pressure during the night indicates a specific sleep disorder.

How Do Sleep Problems Like Apnea Affect Blood Pressure?

The most obvious indicator of sleep apnea, also known as an obstructive sleep disorder, is snoring, but other symptoms include gasping for breath, waking up repeatedly, and chronic daytime weariness.

High blood pressure and sleep apnea were linked in a national multi-sleep study of over 6,000 men and women done by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

This large-scale study indicated that even mild sleep apnea is related to an elevated risk of high blood pressure, with more severe sleep apnea (with > 30 gaps in breathing) presenting the greatest risk. Therefore, always ensure that you create time to sleep at night to avoid sleep deprivation.

Advice For Getting A Good Night’s Sleep If You Have Hypertension

Although there is no magic bullet, these methods have been shown to help people with hypertension sleep better.

1.   Try Some Stress-Reduction Techniques

When you’re trying to wind down for the night, it might be especially difficult if heart worries are keeping your thoughts active. So to achieve a calm state of mind, you can:

  • Relaxation strategies, including deep breathing
  • Yoga
  • Mindfulness
  • Simple stretching

By lowering your heart rate and breathing rate, these relaxation techniques aid the body in flushing out adrenaline and cortisol, two substances released in response to stress.

Related: Best Ways to Find Inner Peace through Meditation

2.   Create a Bedtime Haven Where You Can Relax and Recharge

The difference between a restful night’s sleep and an interrupted one may come down to as little as the conditions in which you sleep.

Get some shut-eye on a soft bed and soft pillow. Keep the temperature comfortable, and ensure it’s nice, dark, and quiet to get quality sleep to prevent sleep deprivation.

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Related: Top 18 Ways To Reduce High Blood Pressure

3.   Regularly Engaging in Physical Activity

You can help reduce your blood pressure by exercising consistently. In addition, physical stress can be alleviated in more ways besides only via exercise.

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For example, light exercises such as bicycling, swimming, brisk walking, and running are useful without putting undue strain on the body.

4.   Consume a Healthy Diet

When trying to reduce blood pressure, it’s crucial to adopt a nutritious diet. In addition, eating a diet that includes certain foods has been shown to reduce blood pressure. To name just a few examples of high blood pressure-friendly foods:

  • Salmon
  • Grains and pulses
  • Broccoli
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Carrots
  • Celery

Related: Top 20 Foods to Eat With High Blood Pressure

Final Thoughts

Checking your blood pressure on a regular basis is especially important if you have a family history of hypertension.

If you’re having difficulties sleeping, it’s important to see a doctor to rule out any potentially dangerous causes. Use the above methods to enhance your sleep and reduce your vulnerability to hypertension.

About Victor Tannos

Vick is a researcher, freelancer, content writer, and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to learn new things. Vick uses that curiosity, combined with his experience as a freelance to write about valuable topics on health, fitness, and lifestyle.

View all posts by Victor Tannos