Can lack of sleep affect blood pressure?
According to studies which have been conducted into the relationship between quality sleep and its effect on blood pressure, the answer appears to be a resounding YES!
To get a better understanding of why there is a relationship between a healthy blood pressure and the quality of sleep, we need to take a moment to see what exactly is going on with our blood pressure during the hours we spend sleeping.
Normally, during sleep time blood pressure tends to take a dip and remain lower, and this enables the body’s cardiovascular system to undergo a restorative process. As a result the heart does not have to work as hard as it does during the awaking hours.
However, for those of us who experience difficulty sleeping more than 6 hours a night, or who are unfortunate to suffer from certain sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, annoying insomnia, night shift sleeping disorder, or even chronic snoring, it is a different story.
Not getting enough sleep or experiencing disturbed patterns of sleep, leads the body to respond by releasing the stress hormones, Cortisol and Adrenaline, into the bloodstream which causes blood pressure to spike just at the time it should be at its lowest.
Sustained High BP at Night is a problem!
And elevated BP levels at nighttime can eventually translate into increased risk of chronic hypertension during the day. Since ongoing high blood pressure can result in an increase in the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular disease, it is important that this condition not be left unaddressed.
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Of course, If you suspect that you may have a sleep disorder which is contributing towards an ongoing elevated blood pressure condition, it is always a good idea to consult with your Family Physician. You can then find out if you should be involved in a sleep study to help determine if indeed a sleeping disorder might be the possible cause.